It has emerged today that the development company responsible for the construction of 104 apartment dwellings in Cathedral Court, Dublin 8 has informed owners that that will be expected to foot the bill for remediation works to repair the safety defects in their apartment block.

According to the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, three out of four property managers say less than 25% of apartment building have set aside adequate funding for such works. In addition, almost 90% of managers say apartment buildings under their management – also known as Multi Unit Development or MUDs – have been forced to raise additional levies.

Commenting in response, Housing Spokesperson, Darragh O’Brien TD said, “This is sadly not the first time in Ireland that a development company has expected apartment owners to pay for repairs to the serious fire safety shortcomings identified in their complex. This latest dispute does however, once again expose the need to reform and improve the laws around sinking funds and Owner Management Companies.

“Our party’s bill, the Multi-Unit Developments (Amendment) (Sinking Fund) Bill 2018 is designed to strengthen the existing laws in this sector including the provision of sinking funds for essential maintenance investment in the property such as fire safety or water supply infrastructure. This bill is due to proceed in the Oireachtas at Second Stage ahead of the summer recess.

“Other parties indicated in the Dáil last Thursday that they would be lending their support to our additional bill to set up a new Ombudsman for Owner Management Companies (OMCs) to observe the financial planning of each OMC.

Apartments complexes and other similar dwellings around the country inevitably require maintenance and investment as they age. As much of an emergency it is to construct housing right now, we cannot allow a situation where developers are essentially throwing up poor standard, largely unsafe units then expecting owners to foot the cost for remedial works years down the line,” he concluded.