Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Questions (678)

Michael McGrath

Question:

678. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if there is a remedy available for a person who is the victim of substandard building work relating to the construction of a new home; if a channel of recourse is open to the homeowner; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51781/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Stronger compliance with building standards has been a key priority for Government and has manifested in the Building Control Reform Agenda, which was initiated in 2011, when, a high level working group reviewed the existing building control regulatory framework. The key deficits identified in the regulatory regime were the lack of involvement of construction professionals on site and lack of accountability in relation to compliance with the Building Regulations.

It was through the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 9 of 2014), known within the industry as BCAR, that the key deficits of the system were first addressed. The roles and responsibilities of owners, designers, builders, assigned certifiers, etc. during building works are set out in the Code of Practice for Inspecting and Certifying Buildings and Works (September 2016). This has brought clarity and accountability, a focus on compliance and a new order to bear on construction projects. In relation to the deputy’s query regarding the construction of a new home, it should be clear as to who held the designated roles and who is responsible for compliance with the building regulations.

Enforcement of the Building Regulations is a matter for the 31 local building control authorities, who have extensive powers of inspection and enforcement under the Acts, and may take enforcement action within five years of building completion. In relation to the Deputy’s query, the relevant local authority should be contacted.

The Construction Industry Register Ireland, or CIRI, was established on a voluntary basis in 2014 and over 850 building and contracting entities are currently included on the register. If the builder of the new home referred to in the Deputy’s question is a registered builder on the CIRI voluntary scheme, there is a complaints procedure, which the homeowner may pursue.

Finally, the homeowner, in question, should check his/her insurance policies.