Recent changes in construction law mean a change in relationship between homeowners and contractors.

18 September 2013

The Safety, Health & Welfare at Work (Construction) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 came into effect on 1 August 2013, extending provisions of previous Construction Regulations to the carrying out of construction work on a domestic dwelling.

A “client” is now defined as a person for whom a “project” is carried out and this definition now extends to work on a household. Homeowners will now be subject to some of the duties and obligations of the Construction Regulations which had previously been confined to commercial construction projects.

Homeowners commissioning or procuring construction work will now be required to ensure that:

  • the designers and contractors appointed to undertake the works are “competent” and have adequate resources
  • project supervisors are appointed and
  • a health & safety plan and a safety file is prepared.There are certain exemptions to the requirement to appoint a project supervisor for certain routine maintenance, cleaning, decoration or repair work.

The purpose of these Regulations is to bring Ireland’s definition of a “client” into alignment with the requirements of EU Council Directive 92/57/EEC (24 June 1992) on the implementation of minimum safety and health requirements at temporary or mobile construction sites.

What this means for homeowners is that they will have legal obligations with which they must comply in respect of construction work being done on their house.

This is also likely to affect future Conveyancing practice as homeowners purchasing a house will seek the Safety File in respect of any work done on the property.

For further information on this topic please contact Margaret Austin, Partner, E maustin@efc.ie

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