Apartment owners in Longboat Quay must accept safety deal or face €1m bill

Apartment owners in Longboat Quay have been told that if they don’t accept a deal on remedial fire safety works at a special meeting this evening, they will face a bill of up to €1m.

The Dublin docklands complex of 298 units is under threat of evacuation next May over major fire safety deficiencies, but Dublin City Council has made an offer that will cover some of the cost but leave owners footing the remainder of the bill.

The 18-page confidential document, seen by the Irish Examiner, is to be voted on by owners at an egm this evening but the Longboat Quay Management Company has warned owners that failure to accept it will have immediate consequences.

In a circular issued, the management company said it was recommending acceptance as this is the best deal they can get.

If owners vote against acceptance, the letter states, a levy would be required immediately to pursue a legal action against the council and other parties.

“The cost of pursuing the action in court is estimated at between €500,000 and €1m. All owners, including ‘affordable’ units, would need to meet these costs to pursue the claim,” the circular states.

If the deal is accepted, the owners would have to pay for any shortfall in the works to be done in both fire safety and a major roof problem, which could also amount to €1m.

The deal was hatched following over a year of negotiations after Dublin District Court issued a fire safety order on the complex in September 2015. An extension was granted until next May but if the remedial works are not completed by then the 600 residents will have to leave the complex.

Over the last year, the projected cost of €4.25m for the fire safety works has been reduced to €2.5m following experiments and analysis carried out in the University of Ulster.

However, during that period it was also discovered that the roof on the complex requires major works with an estimated cost of €1.3m.

The main features of the proposed deal are:

  • Dublin City Council will pay €1.85m towards the works;
  • The receiver for Gendsong, the Bernard McNamara company which built Longboat Quay, will contribute €1.25m;
  • Any shortfall will be paid by the owners through a levy decided on by the management company. The owners of 37 affordable units will be excluded from this levy;
  • The company and owners will take control of the common areas that until now were owned by Dublin Docklands Development Authority, which was subsumed into Dublin City Council;
  • Any further deficiencies in the building will be the full responsibility of the owners;
  • All legal actions against DCC and the receiver will be discontinued;
  • The works will have to be signed-off on by the chief fire officer of Dublin Fire Brigade.

Early on in the process, Mr McNamara, who disputes the extent of the works required, was involved with an offer to do the remedial work at cost price.

He has no role in the proposed settlement.


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