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How to ascertain fire regulation compliance when buying an apartment

  • 31-10-2021 9:29am
    Registered Users Posts: 2,865 ✭✭✭ Shelga

    Hi, I know there are a couple of other threads on fire issues but couldn't find anything specific to my issue. I've gone sale agreed on an apartment and just had an architect carry out a survey. He noted the absence of fire collars around vent pipes in an access duct, and said he could not be certain that the work is compliant with fire safety regulations.

    But how do you find out for sure? Is the management company obliged to disclose any known fire regulation breaches to my solicitor, and if there are not, can I just assume it's ok? It seems there is no way to find out other than that, without doing opening up works, which most people would not want to do in my position.

    The apartment block was built in 2006/2007, which I know isn't a good sign, but also isn't there a spectrum of potential fire regulation breaches- some blocks would be much worse than others?

    The apartment is also on the ground floor, not sure if that makes a difference but I would have thought that fleeing the building in the event of a fire is much easier from the ground floor.

    What are the requirements for getting building insurance? Am I obliged to disclose the contents of my surveyor's report to any insurance company?



  • Registered Users Posts: 893 ✭✭✭ DubCount

    The apartment block is likely to have a Fire Safety Certificate. The process for obtaining this is a bit nuts. The Local Council issues the certificate based on plans. Nobody checks that the actual building matches the plans.

    The only way to be sure everything is OK is to do a survey. Whether you pull out of the deal based on the survey is your call.

    The insurance for an apartment is organised by the apartment management company, and paid for through the service fee. If the management company become aware of a deficiency, they must notify the insurance company. Its likely the insurance company would require any deficiency to be corrected, and remedial works are charged to the owners as its likely whatever sinking fund they have wont cover the expense. If deficiencies are not corrected, the insurance company probably wont renew building insurance.

    The items noted in your survey, could be major or minor. I dont have the expertise to say. I also dont know the scope of the survey, and if the attic for example has been examined. Chat to your surveyor and your solicitor. These are the experts who will help you plot your course of action.