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The 25-year lease for the Sandyford offices was acquired by the former Irish Health Services Accreditation Board, which was subsumed into HIQA upon its establishment in 2007.
The offices were not required by HIQA and notice had been served to the landlord so that the Authority could exit the lease at the first opportunity, which was this month. In February 2011, the Health and Social Care Professionals Council (CORU) took up residence in the building but HIQA continued to pay the rental costs.
Before HIQA was able to exit the lease, it had the responsibility to reinstate the interior and exterior of the premises.
The Authority sought the assistance of the Office of Public Works to deal with the issue.
Board minutes for the Authority from December 2015, seen by MI, reveal that legal advice received by HIQA stated that it was liable for dilapidation costs and it was in the best interests of the organisation to agree costs in order to make a clean break from the lease.
If HIQA did not make the payment, it could incur legal proceedings with no guarantee of winning or recovering the legal costs. It would also mean the Authority was committed to continuing rental and maintenance costs for the remaining period of the lease and would still be liable for dilapidation costs when the lease came to an end.
“On advice from its surveyors and the Office of Public Works, HIQA agreed to pay €350,000 to carry out repairs and refurbishment of the building,” a spokesperson told MI last week.
“The payment was made in 2015 and the lease has now been cancelled. Cancelling this lease saves HIQA and ultimately the taxpayer rent of €290,000 every year that would have been due up to the end of the lease in 2028.”