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What’s New?  On 18 January 2023, the Government announced its approval to draft legislation to support the remediation of apartments and duplexes with fire safety, structural safety and water ingress defects constructed between 1991 and 2013. The legislation will provide a statutory basis for the establishment of a remediation scheme aimed at protecting the safety and welfare of those living in apartments or duplexes with such defects that occurred during construction.

Why? The scale of defects in properties built during the Celtric Tiger years is significant. It has been estimated that as many as 50% to 80% of apartments and duplexes constructed in Ireland between 1991 and 2013 may be affected by these defects. This means that up to 100,000 apartments or duplexes could be affected by these defects and would be in need of repair.

What defects are intended to be covered by the scheme?

  • The scheme is intended to cover works to remediate fire safety, structural safety or water ingress defects in apartments and duplexes that were constructed between 1991 and 2013.
  • Ony defects that are attributable to defective design, defective or faulty workmanship, defective materials (or any combination of these) and were in contravention of the relevant Parts of the Building Regulations applicable at the time of construction will be eligible for inclusion in the scheme.
  • Any defects that originate from inadequate maintenance, poor management etc will not be included within the scope of the scheme.

How will the Scheme work?

  • It’s envisaged that the Housing Agency (which is the government body that works in the delivery of housing and housing services and also implements the Pyrite Remediation Scheme) will play a central role in administering the scheme and that Owners’ Management Companies will be funded to carry out the necessary remediation works, with specific limitations or exemptions on certain commercial owners.
  • It is intended that a whole building approach will be taken under the scheme ensuring common areas and shared spaces are also remediated where required to the relevant standard.
  • For homeowners who have already undertaken remediation works, the Government has approved the principle of allowing remediation costs already incurred or levied to be covered under the legacy defects scheme, within the scope and defined parameters of said scheme.

Interim scheme to fix fire safety issues:

Whilst the Government is preparing legislation to bring the main scheme into effect, an Interim Remediation Scheme has been launched in the meantime. This scheme provides funding for work to repair emergency fire safety issues in apartments and duplexes built between 1991 and 2013. The purpose of this interim scheme is to ensure that there is an acceptable standard of fire safety in buildings pending full remedial works under the main scheme. This Scheme is administered by the Housing Agency on a nationwide basis and Owners’ Management Companies may apply to the Housing Agency for funding.

Recent Update:  Defective Building Materials Dáil Éireann Debate on 15 February 2024:

  • 79 applications had been received since the opening of applications for the interim remediation scheme representing approximately 7,500 residential units.
  • It is expected that the draft legislation for the main remediation scheme will be published in the coming months.

Wait and See!

The scope and eligibility criteria and conditions of the remediation scheme will ultimately depend on the legislation enacted. It remains to be seen whether the proposed scheme will go far enough to provide the owners of affected properties with sufficient assistance to remediate their properties in a timely and effective manner.

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