Dáil Questions: Pyrite

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Dáil Issues, Environment, Oral Questions

Minister for the Environment fails to address really serious and valid concerns highlighted in a recent report commissioned by Joe Tyrell, which exposes HomeBond’s repudiation of claims and suggests that homeowners are lawfully entitled to have their claims validated…a good test case could go a long way…any volunteers?

Question No. 31

To the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government:

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his views on the recent Tyrell report (details supplied) Homebond’s repudiation of Purchasers Claims – Was it Justified, a Report on the Repudiation by Homebond of Purchasers Claims under the Major Defects Warranty in the Homebond Agreement for Damages caused by Pyritic Heave; and if he will act to ensure that Homebond delivers on its responsibilities to homeowners who purchased houses backed by Homebond Guarantee.

– Clare Daly.

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 11th June, 2015.

Ref No: 22488/15
(18 05 15)
REPLY

Minister of State for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Paudie Coffey).
My Department has received a copy of the report and has noted its contents. In this regard, my Department has previously put on record its strong disagreement with the stance adopted by HomeBond in withdrawing, in August 2011, cover for pyrite-related damage to homeowners. Following publication of the Report of the Pyrite Panel

(July 2012), my Department engaged in protracted discussions with the key stakeholders, including HomeBond, to try and put in place a framework within which the parties, which had been identified in the report as being responsible for the pyrite problem, could bring about a resolution for affected homeowners; regrettably, this did not prove possible.

HomeBond is a private limited company providing structural guarantees for new houses and, since November 2008, the HomeBond Insurance scheme is underwritten by Allianz Insurance. As is the case for any private company, its operations are a matter for its management and Board of Directors. My Department understands that HomeBond Insurance Services Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. As a private company, my Department has no role or function in its operations and cannot direct HomeBond to take a particular course of action.

However, the Pyrite Resolution Board will continue to seek contributions from parties who may have a liability in respect of dwellings which are the subject of applications under the pyrite remediation s cheme as those applications are progressed and the contracts for remediation works to affected homes are advanced.

 

Question No. 43

To the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government:

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he has read the report by an eminent insurance claims expert (details supplied), which argues based on insurance case law that the denial of responsibility letter issued by Homebond on 31 August 2011, in relation to pyrite cases has no basis in law and that the claims by householders were not invalidated by the High Court decision in James Elliot v Irish Asphalt; his views on the implications of the work of the Pyrite Remediation Board; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Clare Daly.

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 11th June, 2015.

Ref No: 22487/15

REPLY

Minister of State for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Paudie Coffey)

My Department has received a copy of the report and has noted its contents. In this regard, my Department has previously put on record its strong disagreement with the stance adopted by HomeBond in withdrawing, in August 2011, cover for pyrite- related damage to homeowners. Following publication of the Report of the Pyrite Panel

(July 2012), my Department engaged in protracted discussions with the key stakeholders, including HomeBond, to try and put in place a framework within which th e parties , which had been identified in the report as being responsible for the pyrite problem, could bring about a resolution for affected homeowners ; regrettab ly, this did not prove possible .

HomeBond is a private limited company providing structural guarantees for new houses and, since November 2008, the HomeBond Insurance scheme is underwritten by Allianz Insurance. As is the case for any private company, its operations are a matter for its management and Board of Directors. My Department understands that HomeBond Insurance Services Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. As a private company, my Department has no role or func tion in its operations.

However, i n the context of the pyrite remediation scheme, an agreement w as reached between the Pyrite Resolution Board and HomeBond in June 2014 under which HomeBond has agreed to contribute technical and project management services to the Board to the value of €2 million . Such services include assisting in organising and managing t he testing of dwellings and project management of remediation contracts. HomeBond has also agreed to make available to the Pyrite Resolution Board / Housing Agency the results of testing undertaken by it prior to the operation of the scheme.

As matters stand, over 73 0 applications have been received under the pyrite remediation scheme and the Board will continue to accept applications from homeowners, and will continue to remediate dwellings, subject to those applications meeting the eligibility criteria of the scheme.