Call to outlaw 'minimum snagging' by builders

 

LEGISLATION IS urgently needed to outlaw the “minimum snagging” of apartment developments, a conference on residential property development and management was told yesterday.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Irish Property and Facility Management Association, Pat McGovern, managing director of McGovern Surveyors, said the completion of snagging is a nightmare for building surveyors and management companies. Builders typically only complete 20 to 30 per cent of the snag list, a list of defects in a building, provided to them by surveyors in advance of the transfer of an apartment development to a management company.

“No amount of revisits and or discussions with the builder will improve that,” he said.

“Eventually both the management company and building surveyor are worn down and in time the transfer takes place with a hugely onerous outstanding snag list,” Mr McGovern said.

He said this sets the stage for the early expenditure of any sinking fund and very often 10 years into a development, residents have to re-roof a block in a development or in some cases a complete development.

He also said certificates of compliance, issued after the completion of work, to certify that properties comply with building standards, are issued carelessly or in some cases fraudulently.

He said building surveyors welcomed the Multi-Unit Development Bill 2009, but had concerns in some areas including how it addressed snag lists.

Conference chairwoman Siobhán O’Dwyer, of O’Dwyer Property Management, said the delivery of a quality standard of professional service from the industry was best facilitated by ensuring that the product in the first place was well built, completed and suitable for occupation and handover to the owners.