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People of Ireland,  Stand Up for Your Right

On 8th of March 2013, the Minister for Environment, Community and Local government introduced Building Control (Amendment) S.I 80 which was then revoked in January 2014 and replaced by S.I 9 and will commence with effect from 1st of March 2014.

This amendment was brought in with the involvement of several key stakeholders which included Architects, Engineers, Building Surveyors and Construction Industry Federation.

Self Builders under Building Control (Amendment) S.I 9 , 2014

As a self builder, you will not be able to nominate yourself to be the builder after 1st of March 2014 when the new regulations comes into effect. What this means is that should this amendment proceed as it is, as a self builder you will not be able to participate in the construction of your build if you wish to do so. After this date to operate in the role of contractor you will may be deemed to be not in compliance with the building regulations as you do not fulfil the Department's criteria of a "competent person": have at least 3 years relevant contracting experience and be the principal of a building firm. Due to inadequate resources the likely hood of getting a local authority inspection are remote. However when it comes time to sell on your property if the necessary compliance documentation is not in place in the local authority it may effect the sale of your property. These requirements will essentially preclude non-contractor self-builders from operating the role as contractor for their own projects.

Minister Hogan’s explanation for the reason of this amendment is as follows:

“The new Building Control Amendment Regulations will 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, lodgment of compliance documentation, mandatory inspections during construction and validation and registration of certificates. The new regulations are necessary following the widespread instances of failure by owners, designers and builders to comply with their statutory obligations under the Building Control Act 1990 to design and construct buildings in accordance with the building regulations. “


Since the introduction of S.I 80 and S.I 9 there has not been any information released to the general public as far as how this new amendment will effect the residential self builders and even now with only a few days to go there seems to be a lack of information by the government and the media about the actual details within this document.

Minister Hogan has recently replied to the effect of S.I 9 for the self Builders of Ireland:

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, lodgment 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.


However, this contradicts with what is actually in the Document of S.I 9 as with the sections for the completion certificate, a building contractor has got to sign the certification. This has been made clear by the wordings under the signature as :

Signature: ————————————————————————— Date: ————————
(to be signed by a Principal or Director of a building company only)

If what the minister says is correct, this section should be removed or changed to Owner/Builder

Stand up for your human rights

Local TD's

We at Irish Association of Self Builders have written to all the TD's in Ireland informing them of the effect this amendment will have on the self builders who would not be able to afford the sky high premiums that some builders will be charging for the construction of their family home. We are very grateful to the few of them that have replied and are representing the people by questioning Minister Hogan  about the effect of this amendment to the self builders who can no longer take the direct route to build their house.

And our message to those TD's who did not even bother to respond to our emails or take any actions on behalf of the people in their constituency regarding this very important issue is, you should be ashamed of yourself. You were voted in as a representative of the people and you can not even response  and stand up for a matter that could severely effect the chances of People being able to build a home for their families.

Media

There has been a lot of letters that have been sent to the national newspapers, magazines and television programs, including Prime time but no response. Why? It is amazing that an article about Flappy bird is more important to get the headlines than the effect of S.I 9 on the hard working self builders.

Our message to you:


People of Ireland, the Building Control (Amendment) S.I 9 places a restriction on your human right to be able to provide a family home for yourself and your family. You might feel that this does not effect you at present time but if you do not stand up for the rights of your fellow country man or woman, the same kind of thing could happen to you in the future when no one would stand up for your rights when you need it most.


Ask yourself, why has there not been any information released by the government to the people through national advertisement, leaflet drops or through local authorities? Why is it that the government is only talking to the industry people about this amendment instead of the people who will be directly effected by it? Why is it that self builders are not suppose to find out about the actual details until after the commencement date of 1st of March 2014? Why is it that one of the main key stakeholders, RIAI have officially determined that SI 9 is not in the interests of the consumer and industry but the Minister is not taking any attention? Why isn’t there any information available about the building contractors registration criteria commencing on 1st of March 2015?


Please spread the news, complain to your TD's, report it to your local and national newspapers, TV and radio stations. Let the government know that because of this amendment your sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends and neighbours who are doing their best to provide a roof for their families could be left out of the property market.. Tell them that they can not just go ahead and stop an old Irish tradition that has been going on for centuries .


Go ahead and stand up for the rights of the people of Ireland and don’t let the corporate and developers win, once again.


Other Options Available:

Complain to European Ombudsman about  the  unfair treatment of self builders by the Irish Government
Complain to your local Government Representative

List of your local T.D’s