Monday 14 October 2019

Details revealed for pyrite homes

The typical interest rate on new home loans dropped to a new low of 3.47pc
The typical interest rate on new home loans dropped to a new low of 3.47pc

Owners of pyrite-riddled homes having damage repaired under a Government scheme will have to leave their property for up to three months, it has emerged.

They will also be forced to find alternative accommodation themselves, but will eventually be able to claim back up to 3,000 euro to cover costs.

The Pyrite Resolution Board estimates around 1,000 homeowners will apply for the redress scheme when the online application process goes live in July. Board chairman John O'Connor said that figure will rise over the coming years, but it is impossible to accurately estimate how many properties are affected by the mineral, known as fool's gold.

"This problem doesn't emerge all at once," Mr O'Connor said. "It's a progressive problem and could take 20 years to manifest itself. There are more cases coming on stream all the time. How long, how many will come on stream is impossible to estimate at this stage. It's quite a sizeable job."

Properties affected by pyrite heave have been identified in Meath, Kildare, Offaly, Fingal and Dublin City. They include houses and apartments built after 1997, with the majority in the period between 2002 and 2007.

Where pyrite is present in building materials - such as backfill used under floors - the mineral swells over time causing buckling in concrete floor slabs, difference in flooring levels, cracking in internal walls and sometimes movement in outside walls.

The Government has secured a 50 million euro upfront loan from banks to fund the redress scheme. The money will be paid back from a mandatory levy to be imposed on the quarrying and insurance sectors from next year.

The cost to repair each pyrite-damaged home is estimated at between 40,000 and 50,000 euro, meaning the first wave of 1,000 applications could cost the scheme up to 50 million euro.

People who suspect they have a pyrite problem must have tests carried out and provide certified proof when submitting their application. Sample testing will then be carried out to establish that pyrite is the cause and the house will be entered into the scheme.

The website - www.pyriteboard.ie - was launched on Monday. It includes information for homeowners concerned about pyrite and details of the redress scheme, which will be open for application from July.

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