High Court reporters
An insurance company and a bank have brought Commercial Court proceedings over what they say are defects in a new state-of-the-art office building in Dublin which they have taken out leases on.
Zurich Insurance and Rabobank have rented various floors at number 76 Sir Rogerson's Quay, marketed by the developers as a "magnificent grade A HQ office building" and "a beautiful structure that will be a pleasure to work in".
They say however that there are a number of defects in the building including with the air conditioning which makes some parts of the office very warm and other parts very cold. There are also problems with "poor to non-existent" air circulation, leaks, and lingering odours.
Rabobank, which has been in occupation since June of last year, says there are “extremely unpleasant and nauseous sulphurous-like smells” throughout the building on a daily basis.
Zurich is yet to move into its offices next year, but because of the building problems has sought an extension to stay in its current premises at Spencer Dock.
Zurich's agreed annual rent is €751,000 while Rabobank is paying a total of some €1.3 million a year.
The two companies have brought separate proceedings against the landlord AM Alpha Lux Invest 130 SARL.
They seek orders that the defendant comply with its landlord obligations under the leases and that the defects be remedied. Zurich also seeks declarations that it is entitled to repudiate the lease if necessary.
Netherlands-registered Coöperatieve Rabobank UA, trading as Rabobank Dublin, say they made a range of complaints to the defendant and allowed an opportunity to investigate and resolve the problems but "little progress was made".
Zurich Insurance plc, Zurich Treasury Services Ltd, and Zurich Financial Services EUB Holdings Ltd say they became aware of the problems when Zurich companies appointed the same consulting engineers as Rabobank had appointed to assist in fit-out arrangements before they moved to the new building.
Both Zurich and Rabobank now want full access to the building for a complete survey in order to come up with solutions to the problems.
They say the defendant appears to be unable to identify and remediate the problems.
The two cases came before Mr Justice Denis McDonald on Monday when he admitted them on consent to the fast track commercial list.
The judge also agreed the insurer and bank could apply to the court in the new year for orders permitting access for the survey in the event that there is no agreement with the landlord about such access.