Owners of ‘uninhabitable’ D4 apartments suing developers over excessive heat

Five owners of Lansdowne Place apartments in Ballsbridge claim they have to endure temperatures of close to 30 degrees

A group of owners of Dublin 4 apartments who are suing the block’s developer over excessive heat in their homes will claim they have to endure temperatures of close to 30 degrees.

Owners of five apartments at Lansdowne Place, a complex built on the site of the former Berkeley Court and Jurys hotels in Ballsbridge, have taken individual High Court cases against the developer claiming their properties are uninhabitable due to excessive internal heat.

The cases are being taken against Copper Bridge C 2015 ICAV, the landowner company behind the apartments, which is linked with Chartered Land, developer Joe O’Reilly’s firm. Dublin engineering firm O’Connor, Sutton, Cronin & Associates is also listed as a defendant in the cases.

The owners of the apartments claim that the minimum temperatures inside are about 24 degrees but regularly exceed 27 degrees and reach highs of more than 29 degrees, irrespective of the outdoor temperature and the time of day or night. The residents claim temperatures on the landings and in common areas in the complex regularly exceed 30 degrees.

READ MORE

In their legal proceedings, the owners want the developer behind the complex to undertake remedial works to make the apartments habitable and comfortable and to ensure that internal temperatures are consistent with the demands of healthy and comfortable use.

Lansdowne Place apartments range in price from €900,000 to more than €5 million, though one penthouse apartment sold for €6.5 million. British pop star Rod Stewart is among the owners.

High Court records show that the apartment owners taking the actions are Noel McSweeney, chairman of Senator Windows; a company named Bridgetown; executive coach Aideen O’Bryne; businessman Alphonsus O’Mara; and Kirkland Investments, a company linked to Limerick property developer Robert Butler and his son Rudi.

Copper Bridge has indicated that it rejects all allegations made by the residents and intends to contest the legal proceedings in full.

A report by an independent engineering firm, hired by one of the residents, found that the apartments had “a higher risk of overheating due to the large glazing in the rooms”.

The temperatures in the livingroom of the apartment in question were found to have reached as high as 29.6 degrees in June and 29.9 degrees in July.

The report, seen by The Irish Times, found that “after opening windows and doors, the internal temperature is still considerably higher than the external temperature and not within a comfortable range, demonstrating an overheating problem in the apartment”.

The firm rejected the recommendation of the developer’s engineers that internal doors between rooms be kept open because it was “not practical if multiple occupants are using the rooms”.

The engineers said it was “not reasonable” to leave windows and doors open because they are facing buildings under construction and noise, dust and rainwater might enter the apartments. The firm also points to the fact that the building is near the Aviva Stadium and public amenities making it impractical to keep windows and doors open.

Chartered Land started selling Lansdowne Place in 2017, describing the upscale residential apartment scheme as “comparable only to the lifestyle standards of the very best Manhattan residences overlooking Central Park, New York”.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is The Irish Times’s Public Affairs Editor and former Washington correspondent