A Fine Gael Senator has said a report on apartment defects in Ireland must result in swift Government action for affected homeowners.
Senator Regina Doherty has welcomed the publication of the report of a working group examining defects in purpose-built apartments and duplexes constructed between 1991 and 2013, but added that it must result in swift Government action for affected homeowners across Ireland.
Senator Doherty said: “A shocking number of apartments and duplexes built during what many of us would describe as the Celtic Tiger era suffer from various defects, predominantly regarding fire safety and structural safety.
"The number of affected properties is likely to range between 50% and 80%. That equates to somewhere between 62,500 and 100,000 apartments/duplexes, nationwide. They are truly staggering figures.”
Senator Doherty added: “I have been contacted by a number of my own constituents in Fingal and further beyond who, through no fault of their own, are living in homes that pose real health and safety risks. Nobody should be left in that position.
"Those individual homeowners are being asked to pay the same as professional landlords who own apartments in the same complexes, who can write the cost of remediation against tax. This is an option not available to homeowners. It’s just not fair.”
The Government recently assigned a special working group the task of producing a report examining defects in apartments and duplexes built between 1991 and 2013.
Following extensive consultation with stakeholders and various groups, the report was published last month, and it examines the causes of legacy of defects, as well as the potential for State redress schemes.
Senator Doherty said: “Now that we have a report, it is crucial that in advance of Budget 2023, the Minister for Housing looks at a specific redress scheme to allocate the required funds to Management Companies, the parties responsible for ensuring remediation works are carried out.
"A clear commitment to fund these works from Government would enable Management Companies to raise the finance to fund the works, alleviating the pressure on homeowners.”
She concluded: “There are commitments in the Programme for Government in relation to addressing the issue of apartment defects. In any event, I believe there must be compensation for those affected.”