Real Estate Update: Repair Obligations For Tenants Of Protected Structures

Author:Mr Kevin Hoy and Adam Hogg
Profession:Mason Hayes & Curran

Taking a lease of an old premises or a period building? We recommend that you find out whether the premises enjoys special protective status under the Planning Acts as this may lead to additional or unanticipated costs for specialised repair work and special planning applications.

The definition of a protected structure is broader than you might think. Just as Dublin Castle is a protected structure, you might find that a warehouse at Dublin Docklands, an office building on South Mall in Cork, or a retail unit on Shop Street in Galway enjoys special protection. 

Before taking a lease of a premises, a prospective tenant should find out whether the premises is a protected structure under the Planning and Development Act 2000 as this may have cost implications for the tenant. 

What is a protected structure?

A 'protected structure' is a structure that the local planning authority considers to be of special interest from an architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social, or technical point of view and is included in the planning authority's Record of Protected Structures.

How to check whether a building is a protected structure

Check the Record of Protected Structures which is maintained by the local authority or carry out a search in the planning office of the local authority for the area in which the premises is located.

Some tips to spot a protected structure

Brick facades and decorative arches Timber sash windows and bay windows Some known historical or architectural importance What does protected structure designation mean for a tenant?

The tenant has a statutory obligation to ensure that a protected structure does not become endangered through decay, damage or neglect. This applies to the interior and exterior of the premises. The planning authority can compel you to carry out certain works to protect or to restore the protected structure.  The tenant may need to obtain a grant of planning permission if it wishes to carry out any works whether internal or external. This requirement has a very broad application and can include even minor works and...

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