“enforced by civil action through the courts” Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014)

by Bregs Blog admin team

judge

In a recent answer to a question by Tommy Broughan TD on 5th February 2014  Minister Phil Hogan suggested the ultimate resolution of problems arising between parties under the SI.9 could be “…enforced by civil action through the courts”. We include the relevant extract off the 1990 Building Control Act followed by the Q+A:

Extract off 1990 Building Control Act:

1990 Building Control Act:

Limitation on civil proceedings. 21.—A person shall not be entitled to bring any civil proceedings pursuant to this Act by reason only of the contravention of any provision of this Act, or of any order or regulation made thereunder.

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Question No. 124

Chun an Aire Comhshaoil, Pobail agus Rialtais Áitiúil:
To the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government:

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 544 of 28 January 2014, if persons who self-build their homes will be required to take on full responsibility for ensuring that the properties concerned are in compliance with the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations (SI No 9 of 2014).

Thomas P. Broughan.

For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 5th February, 2014.

Ref No: 5852/14

REPLY 

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Mr. P. Hogan) 

The Building Control Act 1990 places a legal obligation on owners, designers and builders to ensure that their building complies with the relevant requirements of the building regulations.   These obligations apply to all sectors of the housing and construction market, including the self-build sector. 

 Local building control authorities have powers to inspect and enforce compliance and where concerns exist in relation to a particular building, the authority may serve an enforcement notice on both the owner and the builder. In a self-build situation the owner and the builder will be one and the same. 

The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations do not change or vary the legal position set out in the Act of 1990. It will, however, greatly strengthen the arrangements currently in place for the control of building activity by requiring greater accountability in relation to compliance with Building Regulations in the form of statutory certification of design and construction, lodgement of compliance documentation, mandatory inspections during construction and validation and registration of certificates. 

In practice, even in a self-build situation, the owner-builder may contract out certain construction tasks. Under the new Regulations the owner-builder will also be required to engage competent registered professionals to undertake the design and to perform the role of the Assigned Certifier who will prepare an inspection plan, ensure this plan is implemented by himself and others and, in conjunction with the self-builder, sign the Certificate of Compliance on Completion. The resolution of problems arising between the owner-builder and any of the parties engaged by them as Designer, Contractor or Assigned Certifier is a matter between the owner, the relevant parties and their insurers, subject to the terms of any contracts in place. Where contractual issues cannot be resolved through dialogue and negotiation they can be enforced by civil action through the courts.     

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