PR 19/19 | Developments on LN 136 of 2019
The Kamra tal-Periti would hereby like to notify the following developments since the bringing into force of LN 136 of 2019.
Meeting with Government
Government requested an urgent meeting with the Kamra tal-Periti to discuss the new regulations that were brought into force earlier this week. The Kamra tal-Periti immediately accepted the offer for a meeting which happened yesterday afternoon.
During this meeting, which lasted almost three hours, the Kamra outlined in detail the several issues in the regulations and the positions voted upon in the Extraordinary General Meeting held on Friday 21st June 2019. The Kamra also expressed its deep concern for public safety due to conflicts between the Civil Code and the new regulations, and the confusion surrounding the apportionment of responsibilities.
The Kamra tal-Periti also insisted on the urgency for the setting up of a system of registration of contractors so members of the public, and periti themselves, can begin to regain confidence in the industry.
It was agreed that further meetings would occur in the next few days during which amendments to the new regulations will be proposed by the Kamra together with its team of legal consultants for Government’s consideration.
The Kamra tal-Periti reiterates its commitment to assist Government in fulfilling its intention to bring about a positive reform of the industry in the interest of public safety.
Exemptions under Regulation 26
Regulation 26 states that “[w]hen before the start of the works, the perit in charge of the project certifies, after giving clear reasons, that the structural interventions will not affect third party property, the provisions of regulations 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 do not apply”.
This implies that if a perit certifies that no damage will occur to third-parties during works, the entire set of regulations can be circumvented. If damages do occur, the perit issuing such certification would carry personal criminal and civil responsibility for anything that happens, even when the contractor is at fault.
This has put members of the profession under immense pressure to sign such declarations as contractors and developers are incurring extremely high costs due to the effective suspension of works. The Kamra has received multiple reports from members of the profession who received personal threats as well as threats of crippling and vexatious lawsuits if they do not sign such declarations.
The Kamra tal-Periti is hereby making it clear that if any such lawsuits are filed against periti who are diligently and responsibly applying the law, it will enter such lawsuits parte civile and put all its resources to defend its members against cowboy operators.
The Kamra will also be writing to the Chief Justice to request that such lawsuits are dismissed on a prima facie basis in the interest of public safety.
Exemptions under Regulation 25
Regulation 25 states that “[w]orks of excavation, demolition and construction, that would have started but are not complete on the date of the 25th June 2019, as well as those works of excavation, demolition and construction, that still need to begin, fall under the provisions of these regulations provided that the Director of the Building Regulation Office reserves the right to issue appropriate orders according to the requirements and nature of the particular site.”
Members of the public are urged to write to the Director of BRO on [email protected] keeping in copy their perit asking for clearance to proceed with works, and insisting that a clear scope of works and a list of the specific exemptions from the regulations are specified in such clearance.
The Kamra tal-Periti will continue to defend and promote the interest of public safety first at all times.