‘Seriously substandard’ short-let apartments in Drumcondra had no planning permission

The apartments were available for short-term letting until late last year, despite no planning permission. Pic: Getty/stock image© Getty Images

Amy Blaney

“Seriously substandard” apartments available for short-term letting in Dublin, were found to have been operating without planning permission.

The adjoining apartments on 72 and 74 Drumcondra Road Lower were rented out as short-term lettings on Booking.com from 2016 until last year, despite having no planning permission for an extension to the rear of the property.

The apartments were allegedly rented out by the tenant of the property without the landlord’s knowledge.

The property owners, Pinnacle Private Capital Limited, applied for a Retention Planning Permission in June last year. This was refused by Dublin City Council in August last year.

In the report refusing permission, the planning officer said the units were at a “seriously substandard level”.

“The building over most of the rear garden of this house comprises overdevelopment, adversely affects its character, and lowers the standard of residential amenity of the house as a whole,” the planning officer said.

The application had requested retention planning for the extension consisting of three residential units, 1B and 1C at ground floor level, and unit 2A on the first floor at the back of 74, also known as Woodlawn House.

Retention planning permission was also requested for the single storey structure at the back of the adjoining 72, known as Killaan Manor, consisting of two residential units,1B and 1C at ground floor level.

Pinnacle Private Capital Limited is a trustee company that owns properties on behalf of clients under pension schemes.

“In this particular property’s case we had a tenant several years ago who had arranged for the subletting of the property on this website,” said a spokesperson for Pinnacle Private Capital Limited.

“Eventually we had them move out following a long-running dispute. Our company are the legal owners of the property on behalf of our clients. The client decides how the property is managed.

“The tenant of the property was advertising it for let and presumably collecting rent from sub-tenants without permission of the landlord,” they added.

The council refused the planning application on August 5, 2022, and this decision has been appealed with An Bord Pleanala.

The property has been taking bookings on Booking.com since January 2016 and stopped letting in September last year, according to reviews on the site.

The apartments have a total of 204 mostly negative reviews, with the last guest saying: “The bathroom was disgusting, the towel holder is rusty, the insulation is missing, the bed is itchy.”

Another review said: “The worst apartment and the most important they didn’t give us sheets for the beds and we slept with our clothes.”

A separate review said: “No water for the 1st 24 hours couldn’t use the loo.”

Dublin City council confirmed to Independent.ie that a planning enforcement case is currently before the District Court for an “alleged unauthorised extension at 72 Drumcondra Road Lower”.

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