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25th April 2018 | Housing, Press Releases

Government must act to relieve pressure on homeowners of defective buildings

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The Green Party today criticised the Government’s total lack of action to assist homeowners dealing with defective buildings, as affected homeowners in the Dublin Rathdown area received further threatening letters from their management company. This comes almost one year after the Green Party Motion on Building Standards and Consumer Protection was passed by Dáil Éireann.

Green Party Deputy Leader, Catherine Martin TD, said: “I have been contacted by many constituents in recent days in my own area of Dublin Rathdown who have received letters from their management company threatening them with legal proceedings to recover the thousands of euro per unit that repair works may cost. These letters are unnecessarily threatening, and they are causing great distress to many homeowners. This is just another example of the appalling pressure homeowners and residents around the country, who had no part in the building of apartment developments, are being put under to pay to fix building defects left by developers and builders.

“The measures which were recommended by the Dáil in our Green Party motion on Building Standards and Homeowner Protection in June 2017 were reasonable, practical measures which Government could work to put in place. Similar measures have also been recommended by the Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government’s “Safe as Houses?” Report earlier this year. And yet the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has refused to even meet with me to discuss practical possible reliefs for homeowners, and the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government has not yet even responded to my request for such a meeting.

“The Government cannot continue to ignore these homeowners. Real, practical steps have to be taken to relieve the atrocious pressure that is being put on them.”

Green Party Local Area Representative and construction law expert Deirdre Ní Fhloinn commented: “We’re paying for infrastructure and services on private land for new developments but doing nothing for these home owners. It is shocking to think that the State, that took in so much money in taxes from the sale of new homes during the boom, would now do nothing to help people dealing with defects in their homes. Government needs to extend the same helping hand that it is so happy to give to private developers to families and people who are suffering with housing defects through no fault of their own.”