Law Society response to self-builders

by Bregs Blog admin team

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Following on from a complaint to the Attorney General and letter to the Law Society querying the status of self-builders under the new Building Regulations introduced in March 2014, the representative body for self-builders (IAOSB) have received the following response from the the Law Society.

Quote: “…our profession had no role in the policy underlying the regulations or either the process or the forms required…It is clear to us that the understandable wish of people to build houses by direct labour is not reflected in the manner in which the regulations and forms were prepared…The guidelines include a comment that self builders with no experience acting as a builder might have difficulties in getting an architect, engineer or surveyor who is willing to undertake the task of acting as an assigned certifier.”

Letter to IAOSB suggests:

  • The Law Society were left out and should have been involved
  • Self-builders have been left out and it’s not the Law Society’s fault
  • The Law Society confirmed that professionals probably shouldn’t certify self-builds under SI9
  • The Law Society can’t advise other professions
  • The Law Society have sent the problem straight back to Department

Law Society letter to IAOSB- click link here

____________________________

Letter to and from Mr Mark McDermott, Law Society of Ireland
30th April 2014

Dear Mr McCloud

I have passed the documentation you sent me to members of the task force appointed by the Conveyancing Committee to advise solicitors on the new regulations.

The following is the response I have received:

“The members of the task force have sympathy with the situation of people who wish to build their own houses by direct labour and appreciate that many people who wish to self-build might not otherwise be in a financial position to own their own home.

The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government excluded representatives from the solicitors’ profession from the consultation process by the Department of Environment, and our profession had no role in the policy underlying the regulations or either the process or the forms required.

It is clear to us that the understandable wish of people to build houses by direct labour is not reflected in the manner in which the regulations and forms were prepared.

The Conveyancing Committee guidance, which already has been issued, is that solicitors acting for purchasers of property built on foot of the new regulations will require a copy of the final certificate and proof that it has been registered by the Building Control Authority.

There are no proposals to advise solicitors to look behind the certification, nor to question the competence of any self-build owner who completes the forms.

The guidelines include a comment that self builders with no experience acting as a builder might have difficulties in getting an architect, engineer or surveyor who is willing to undertake the task of acting as an assigned certifier. The view of the members of the task force is that this is a statement of fact, but they will not be seeking to lobby such professionals to decline to act in such cases. That should be a matter for the particular professionals.”

I regret, therefore, that we do not seem to be in the position to assist you.

Yours sincerely

Mark McDermott

__________________

Previous IAOSB letter to Law Society here:  “Self builders escalate to Law Society: BC(A)R SI.9” – click here

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