This paper considers the nature of the remedy provided when the State intervenes to rectify building failures, using the Irish Pyrite Resolution Scheme and the Homeowner Protection Act of British Columbia as examples.

Under Irish law, a building control authority may arrange to have remedial works carried out to remedy breaches of the Irish Building Regulations. The value of the underlying private law remedies may be lost, if the intervention by the BCA rectifies the breach of contract. This has a number of consequences. There is a value transfer from the BCA to the party contractually responsible for discharging the obligation which has instead been discharged by the BCA. There is also potential for a value transfer to the ultimate owner of the building who obtains the benefit of having the BCA intervene in order to deal with a breach of contract on its behalf.  

This paper will explore the principled basis for the nature of the remedy provided when the State steps in to rectify building failures, to describe the impact on the relevant relationships in private law, and to identify ways in which the legal rules could be adapted to compensate the State for any value transfers that occur when the State intervenes to discharge a contractual obligation, using the legal responses to the Irish Pyrite Resolution Scheme, and the British Columbia Condominium failures, as examples.



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