Defective homes – no help in sight

 

Sir, – Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy stated in the Dáil that builders could be “let off” if the Government were to assist owners of defective homes.

I have made submissions to the Minister’s department and to a committee of the Oireachtas several times over the past four years of my PhD on this subject.

The Minister is well aware that for any owner to sue a builder can take years and cost thousands in legal fees, with no certainty of a remedy at the end.

If the Minister was serious about not letting builders avoid their responsibilities, he would not have dismissed the Green Party proposal for a building standards regulator, independent of the construction industry, as “a quango” when pressed on this issue by my colleague Catherine Martin TD in June 2017, and he would have engaged with the recommendations for regulatory reform in the Oireachtas Housing Committee’s Safe as Houses report in 2018.

There are seriously defective homes throughout the country, and not a single recorded conviction for breach of building regulations.

The people left to carry the cost are the owners, their families, and their tenants, living with stress and fear, with no help from the Government. – Yours, etc,

DEIRDRE

NÍ FHLOINN BL,

Law Library,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – In response to Cían Carlin’s letter of March 5th which raised the query of latent defects insurance, the majority of the apartments mentioned in The Irish Times report (News, March 4th) did have this insurance as it was supplied by the developers.

However, in respect of the Beacon South Quarter at least, the Homebond policy in place does not cover the costs involved.

In addition, latent defect policies usually only run for a period of 10 years and the boom-era defects are, in most cases, being discovered now after the 10-year period has expired.

Sadly the Minister and his Department are attempting to wash their hands of the entire mess, and I hope we don’t see a tragic event taking place before the Government steps up and offers a legitimate form of assistance to the homeowners. – Yours, etc,

AOIFE CULLETON,

Luxembourg.