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Monday 23 September 2019

Owners of 900 flats want State to fund fire safety work

Beacon South Quarter in Dublin
Beacon South Quarter in Dublin
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

The owners of almost 900 apartments found to pose a fire safety risk have dropped plans to pursue legal action against the developer.

The Beacon South Quarter owners' management company (BSQ OMC) in south Dublin has been advised that the prospect of successfully pursuing anyone to fund remediation works costing €10m are 'slim'.

The owners are now demanding the State establish a financial redress scheme, as proposed by a Dáil committee last year, which would allow property owners to write off the cost of remedial works against their tax bills or secure an interest-free loan from the State to fund the works.

The problems first emerged in January 2017. Works to bring the apartments into line with required standards are under way, at an average cost of €13,000 per apartment. More than 90pc of owners have paid a levy to cover the cost.

The owners may also apply for a loan from Home Building Finance Ireland, a State-backed scheme aimed at funding new homes but which, the group says, can be used to fund remedial works.

Chair of BSQ OMC Kath Cottier said owners would campaign to have the recommendations for redress made in the committee's report implemented by the Government. She added that a legal challenge would cost a minimum of €750,000, and only had a 20pc chance of success.

She said up to now the Government had said redress was a private matter between the owners and those involved in the original construction.

"Now we have decided not to proceed with possible legal action, there is no longer any reason for Government not to engage with us about the issue of financial redress," she said.

Irish Independent

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