Avoidance of Damage to Third Party Property Regulations, 2019 – An Overview
The Avoidance of Damage to Third Party Property Regulations, 2019 (the “Regulations”) enacted by means of Legal Notice 136 of 2019 have brought about significant changes in the construction industry. The Regulations, which have entered into force with effect as from the 25th of June 2019, apply in the case of the following:
- All excavation works which, in their affected zone, include third-party property;
- Demolition or removal of any existing structure which is abutting, adjacent, underlying or overlying any third-party property, including toothing work with existing buildings;
- Building of additional storeys, load-bearing walls or structures over any third-party property;
- Construction of new buildings or additional storeys adjacent to existing third-party property.
The Regulations impose obligations on the main parties involved in any development; the perit, the developer and the contractor. The Regulations provide for the creation of a new role – the site technical officer – which intends to replace and regulate further the former site manager. The site technical officer, who shall be nominated by the contractor (as opposed to such obligation being the responsibility of the developer as used to be the case) and further approved by the perit, shall be responsible for ensuring that the method statement prepared by the perit is followed during the works.
The Regulations impose on the developer the obligation to ensure that for the whole duration of the works, an insurance policy with a limit of indemnity of not less than€750,000 is in place in order to ensure that any potential damage to third-party properties is covered.
Over and above such insurance policy, the developer is obliged to submit a bank guarantee to the Director of the Building Regulations Office to cover for any minor damages which may be caused to third parties and which are either not catered for in the insurance policy or which fall below the excess of the insurance policy. Such bank guarantee shall be of €3,000 for each storey of developed third party property or properties contiguous to the development site, for the first 5 properties and a further €1,000 for each additional contiguous property, up to a maximum of €40,000. Such guarantee shall be released back to the developer within 3 months from the day of notification of completion of works certified by the perit, or else prior, if the Director receives in writing a statement by the contiguous property owners that they do not have a claim for damage.