Wednesday 13 December 2017

Homebond to appeal award of €50,000

Ruaidhri Giblin

HOMEBOND, the building insurer for structural defects, has appealed a High Court order to pay €50,000 to a woman who claimed that she was "sold a dud" house 14 years ago.

In the Supreme Court on Friday, Homebond sought an extension of time to serve a notice of appeal on Ms Margaret Brennan of Mockmoyne Heights, Boyle, Co Roscommon.

Ms Brennan said that she had not wanted to accept notice of service because the Supreme Court appeal could take four years, by which time she would be 70.

The High Court had previously awarded Ms Brennan €50,000 compensation against Homebond in order to have remedial works carried out on a house that she bought in 1999 and in which she still resides.

Ms Brennan, who had represented herself for most of the case, had no legal representation on Friday.

The appeal arises out of an order by Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne in March, when Homebond was ordered to pay €50,000 compensation on foot of a guarantee Ms Brennan signed and "relied on when buying her house".

Ms Justice Dunne noted that the financial limit of Homebond's guarantee was stated to be €38,000 but it had been conceded that the company had assumed liability in respect of sums greater than that in the past.

A major part of Ms Brennan's complaint, according to Ms Justice Dunne, was that Homebond should not have guaranteed the property after it was constructed and when they had not inspected the foundations.

However, the High Court judge said: "I can see nothing in the Homebond literature, rules, guarantee, or final notice that precludes the company from registering a property which is either being built or has been built."

The three-judge Supreme Court was satisfied that Homebond had a case for appeal and permitted the extension of time to serve notice on Ms Brennan.

Irish Independent

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