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Social and Affordable Housing

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 3 March 2021

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Questions (329)

Patrick Costello


329. Deputy Patrick Costello asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the person or body with responsibility for the cost of repairs in circumstances in which poor building standards are subsequently exposed post-purchase from an affordable housing scheme facilitated by a council; and if responsibility lies with the owner of the unit, the developer of the property or the council facilitating the scheme. [11302/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

In general building defects in private housing, including those bought through the affordable housing scheme, are matters for resolution between the contracting parties involved, the homeowner, the builder, the developer and/or their respective insurers, structural guarantee or warranty scheme. In this regard, it is incumbent on the parties responsible for poor workmanship and/or the supply of defective materials to face up to their responsibilities and take appropriate action to provide remedies for the affected homeowners.

The design and construction of buildings is regulated under the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2020. The Acts provides for the making of Building Regulations and Building Control Regulations.

The Building Regulations 1997 - 2019 set out the legal requirements in Ireland for the construction of new buildings (including houses), extensions to existing buildings as well as for material alterations and certain material changes of use to existing buildings. Their aim is to provide for the safety and welfare of people in and about buildings.

The Building Control Regulations set out the administrative procedures for demonstrating compliance in respect of an individual building or works.

Under the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2020 primary responsibility for compliance of works with the requirements of the Building Regulations, rests with the owners, designers and builders of buildings.

Enforcement of the Building Regulations is a matter for the 31 local building control authorities which have extensive powers of inspection and enforcement under statute.

In addition local authorities also have extensive powers of inspection and enforcement under the Fire Services Acts 1981 and 2003, the Housing Acts and the Planning and Development Acts, which may be relevant where fire safety concerns arise in residential developments.

Question No. 330 answered with Question No. 313.