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My apartment needs repairs – Who should pay for it?

As part of The Irish Times ‘Property Clinic’, Enda from Winters Property Management helps a reader shed some light on who should pay for repairs when there is structural damage. 

The Irish Times read posed the question:

I bought an apartment and now know there are structural problems. Does the management company’s insurance cover the cost of the repairs or is it up to the owner to sort it out?

As a chartered property manager and a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, Enda McGuane of Winters Property Management was asked to shed some light on the issue. 

In Enda’s answer, he mentions that most property sales are made under the term of caveat emptor or buyer beware. This means that sellers are not under any duty to disclose any physical defects with the property and therefore he would always advise using the services of chartered building surveyor’s or an engineer to get an idea of the condition of the building before committing to a purchase. 

However, as the reader has already made the purchase, Enda suggests a number of possible solutions:

  1. Ask your solicitor to review the sale contract.
  2. As it is an apartment that was bought, the owner is now part of an owners management company (OMC). This can be important as the owner is responsible for everything that happens within the four walls of the apartment, therefore, if the structural damage was caused by something occuring outside of those four walls it may fall under the OMC’s block insurance. 
  3. The last option is to make a claim under a Home Bond insurance or another similar scheme if the structural damage looks to have been caused by poor workmanship during construction. 

To read Enda’s full answer, click here. 

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