herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Retired sheriff 'shocked' to find apartment he bought was firetrap

Owner John Fitzpatrick
Owner John Fitzpatrick

A Longboat Quay apartment owner said he is "shocked and amazed" that he was not told that a property he bought in the development last summer was unsafe.

John Fitzpatrick, who paid in the region of €400,000 for his apartment, said he "had no idea" what he was buying into after fire safety issues were raised.

Mr Fitzpatrick was not made aware of the issues until Tuesday, he said. The sale happened in July, a month after the problems were first uncovered at the upscale complex.

"That really annoyed me. That's part of my pension," Mr Fitzpatrick told the Herald.

The former Dublin County Sheriff has three tenants in the apartment.

"It came as a shock and I'm sure a greater shock to the tenants," he said. "It's extraordinary - it just amazes me that nobody thought to tell us."

The landlord said that he employed a surveyor to check out the property before purchasing it in a private sale.

"That's what's annoying too, you try to do things the right way," he pointed out.

Longboat Quay was a legacy of the Celtic Tiger era, Mr Fitzpatrick said.

"The regulation at the time was there, but it obviously wasn't enforced," he said.

"It's a pity for the people whose only home it is and who have mortgages. They are a lot worse off than I am."

Sold

Since the problems were first uncovered, four apartments have been sold in the development.

Two were sold last summer for €175,000 and €400,000 apiece. A third was sold in June of this year for €400,000.

At a recent Allsops auction in the RDS on September 10 another apartment was sold for €250,000.

This week, following the revelations, Sherry Fitzgerald auctioneers said that they had listed the sale of 513 Longboat Quay South for €475,000.

Meanwhile, Douglas Newman Good (DNG) auctioneers also have a property on their books in the complex, but said that it's on hold for reasons not connected to the fire safety problems.

In the meantime, the fire safety notice issued by Dublin Fire Brigade for Longboat Quay requires that fire safety evacuation drills be held at fortnightly intervals at varying times. It also requires immediate measures to ensure occupants receive appropriate training in fire safety.

The notice also requires arrangements to be made for the provisions and maintenance of equipment and fittings for fire detection, fire prevention, the extinguishing of fires, the giving of warning in case of a fire and ventilation systems.

It also includes requirements on smoke ventilation, fire separation between apartments and the upgrading of fire doors.

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