Building regulations and self-certification


Sir, – Further to “Should I opt out of costly compliance paperwork?” (Property Clinic, May 18th), the opt-out question is relevant to many ordinary citizens at this time of rising building costs.

Failure to comply with the building regulations is an offence regardless of any form of certification.

In 2014 statutory certification of buildings was devised following the Priory Hall debacle. The new regime promised to succeed where the 2007 statutory registration of architects had failed. At its core, however, is a system inexplicably built around self-certification, ie certification by the participants themselves. Those procedures culminate in an overall certificate, which is filed by the local authority. That certificate is an affirmation to the local authority alone that the building complies with the building regulations.

In other words, the statutory certificate is not an undertaking to the most exposed party, the building owner, who is in fact provided no recourse against deficient certification.

Overall, statutory self-certification adds time and cost without creating any new form of redress; unless, having legitimised these certificates in the eyes of the ordinary citizen, the local authority is held responsible. – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.