‘Opinions on Compliance’ and the Law Society

by Bregs Blog admin team


The following opinion piece was submitted by a registered architect on 17th September 2014.

‘Opinions on Compliance’ and the Law Society

As a practicing architect who has been signing ‘Opinions on Compliance’ (before the current regulations) I am very surprised at the statement from the RIAI President that implies that there is no communication between the RIAI and the Law Society. (link)

The old ‘Opinion’ documents were agreed between the Law Society and the RIAI, to give some reassurance to purchasers in the absence of a statutory system. The new Completion Certficates are required by the Building Control Authority under building control legislation, but not for conveyancing.

Whatever documents that will be required for conveyancing are still a matter for agreement between the Law Society and the RIAI. There is no obligation in law for an architect (as Assigned Certifier) to give the Completion Certificate to any third party and there is no obligation on any owner (as Vendor) to provide one to a purchaser.

So why are the RIAI not actively engaging with the Law Society to produce an agreed document that will give comfort to purchasers which clearly spell out the parties who might be liable for non-compliance or defective construction, including other designers and builders, without exposing the architect to liability for any problems caused by the builder?

Conveyancing solicitors need to get involved and agree this among themselves. They are paid to look after the purchasers interests-  are they going to advise their clients that the Completion Certificate is a ‘guarantee against defects’ or no more value than the old Opinion?

Attached is recent letter from president of the RIAI Robin Mandal to Amanda Gallagher self-builder (see post here):



Other posts of interest:

Legal perspective: consumer benefit? BC(A)R SI.9 

Opinion piece: RIAI need to stop ‘passing the ball’

Law Society : Certifier is single point of responsibility

Law Society of Ireland Update on BC(A)R SI.9

BC(A)R SI.9 and Law Society of Ireland? 

Summary of Legal Posts- BC(A)R SI.9