No one likes living next door to a construction site but a scheme launched by the Malta Developers’ Association will at least put your mind a bit more at ease.
From September onwards, developer members of the association who are given a building commencement notice will be obliged to pay their neighbours’ architect fees if they hire one to scrutinise the project. Neighbours can choose any architect they like to conduct this assessment.
Developers will be obliged to refund the fee upon the presentation of a fiscal receipt. If the neighbour cannot afford to pay the fee, the developer will be obliged to hand them the money they need, upon the presentation of a fiscal invoice.
Members who don’t make these payments will initially be given a warning; if they disobey the rules for a second time, they will be removed as members.
They will attach stickers onto construction sites to let residents know they are indeed MDA members.
A law passed last year in the wake of the collapse of a number of residences obliges architects to draft a method statement of the works, as well as a condition report on the adjacent properties, by no later than two weeks before the commencement of construction.
Interested third parties can request the building regulator to review these repots so long as they submit a detailed architect’s report indicating technical reasons as to why the works could pose concerns to the safety of their property.
Developers aren’t obliged by law to pay the architect fees, but after launching this scheme for his members, MDA President Sandro Chetcuti urged the government to make such payments mandatory.
“We won’t accept cowboys who don’t follow the rules,” he said.
MDA director general Marthese Portelli said this is the first of a number of initiatives under the ‘Safer Neighbourhood Scheme’, intended to foster a better relationship between developers and the communities in which they construct buildings in.
“We realise construction causes inconveniences and there’s no magic solution for this, but this is a sign of good intent,” she said.