Eoin Ó Broin TD has recently published a Bill that provides for the establishment of a latent defects redress scheme to assist homeowners who uncovered latent defects in their properties. The scheme will offer a resolution to ordinary homeowners who should not be liable for the costs of remediation caused by the incompetence, negligence or deliberate noncompliance of developers.
Deputy Ó Broin said: “The Latent Defects Redress Bill 2019 that I have published would establish a latent defects redress scheme to assist homeowners in remedying issues, such as fire safety and other structural defects that have been uncovered in their homes. “The government has not taken any steps to help the vast majority of homeowners with Celtic Tiger-era latent defects, despite more and more structural defects being uncovered in developments across the State.
“This scheme will lay out a number of solutions, which will include an information and advice service for homeowners. Mediation will be offered to disputing parties to see if a resolution can be found between the developer/builder and the homeowner. If mediation is not an option, the scheme will issue legally binding adjudications on cases. “Where builder/developers are still trading, the original developer should pay for the remediation works. However, in cases where the developer went bust or is no longer trading, the scheme will administer a compensation fund for homeowners that will be paid for by a levy on the construction industry and will be matched on a euro-for-euro basis by the Exchequer.
“The scheme will also commence a programme of risk assessments for latent defects including fire safety and water ingress and related structural defects and will conduct a review of the existing sanctions for developers/builders who breach building and fire safety standards. “In the first instance, the original builder/developer should be held liable for defects for which they are responsible. However, government cannot shirk its responsibility. The lax building regulations in place during the boom failed to tackle the dodgy building that was happening. “I believe this Bill is first step in fixing this problem and I hope it will have cross-party support.”