Upon reaching the handover stage of the social housing development process there are a number of key actions you the developer must take to ensure the smooth operation and completion of this process to guarantee the timely payment.

Part of the handover documentation you must supply to the housing association is the Tenant User Manual aims to provide the information relevant to use and maintain the various systems within your new home, along with the cleaning and maintenance information for the various fittings, finishes and other components. The user manual is aimed at ensuring the future tenants know what to look for in your new home and other useful information about the installations which should include:

  • A complete list of Installations
  • Electrical Circuit breaker Box information.
  • Water Shut Off Valves location and operation.
  • Drainage information.
  • Heating & Hot water user guide.
  • Heating Controls operation
  • Safety Equipment details and location
  • Carbon monoxide alarm details
  • Heat Detector details
  • Smoke detector details
  • Fire Blanket location
  • Safety Restrictors on windows operation
  • Safety Externally of the house
  • Extractor Fan operation
  • Cleaning & Maintenance tips
  • Lighting details
  • Electrical Sockets
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Sanitary Ware
  • Water Usage tips
  • Running in your New Home
  • Shrinkage Cracking
  • Avoiding Internal Shrinkage Cracking
  • Fixings
  • Condensation
  • Tips to reduce the possibility of mould
  • Drafts
  • Tips to prevent draughts
  • Blockages
  • Kitchen Waste Pipes
  • Baths and Basins
  • Showers
  • A note with regards to defects & repairs.
  • Contact Numbers & Emergency Numbers

Another key document that must be produced to complete the handover of your development to a local authority or housing association is the safety file. This is a comprehensive collection of documents that is handed over upon completion of the development. This contains every possible document required by the future owner of the estate to allow the management and maintenance going forward. In the event of an issue arising the safety file allows clear traceability to identify the fault. Any delay in the production of your safety file or missing information from it can result in costly handover delays as the new owner will not accept the handover without it. The following headings are required in your safety file:


  • Naming Letter of the estate
  • Eircode of each unit
  • MPRN of each Unit
  • Picture of the name plate
  • Google Maps details

Air tightness and sound testing:

Building regulations require you to conduct a prescribed number of air tightness tests and sound tests within the development.

  • Air tightness test results
  • Sound test results

BER Certificates:

  • BER advisory report
  • Part L compliance report

As constructed drawings:

A full set of constructed drawings that show every element of the completed development. Continuous recordings of these details throughout the development life cycle is required to complete this stage of the process efficiently.

  • Every pipe, valve, socket location
  • Specification and details of every material used within the development

Certification of compliance:

  • BCMS certification of compliance upon completion
  • Architects cert of compliance with planning permission
  • Architects cert of compliance with building regulations
  • Engineers cert of compliance with planning permission
  • Engineers cert of compliance with building regulations
  • Certificate of practical completion

Electrical Certification:

  • Ancillary certification Electrical
  • Completion certification electrical
  • Smoke, heat and carbon monoxide certification

Plumbing & Heating Certification:

  • Ancillary certification plumbing.
  • Ancillary certification heating.
  • Heat source commissioning certifications.
  • ECO design data.
  •  Heat loss calculations.
  • Design / Installer sign off.
  • DEAP inputs.

Inspection plan as implemented:

  • A record of all inspections undertaken during the development.
  • Dates of what was inspected.
  • Results of inspections.
  • Backup information.
  • Taking continuous pictures and videos throughout the development construction are very useful and can be included in this section.

Irish Water:

  • CCTV survey of all pipe runs.
  • NSAI certification of all materials used, Concrete, manhole covers, pipe joints.
  • Certification of equipment.
  • Connection agreement.
  • Collaboration certificate.
  • Pressure test report.
  • Water Chlorination report.
  • Manhole Exfiltration test report.


  • Specification of all materials used.
  • Associated NSAI certification.
  • Declaration of performance.
  • Certificate of conformity.
  • Concrete testing.
  • U values.
  • Warranties and guarantees of all materials used in the development.

Planning permission:

  • Archaeology reports.
  • Planning permission compliance information.
  • Part V agreement.
  • Commencement notice.
  • Planning permission decision to grant.
  • Final notification of decision to grant planning permission.

Public Lighting & attenuation tank:

  • All installation and maintenance details of the public lighting system.
  • GPRM number.
  • Attenuation tank location & details.

Structural Certification:

  • Structural warranties and guarantees.

As can be seen from the above information there is an extensive amount of information required for the safety file. Failure to put the systems necessary in place early in the life cycle of your development will ultimately end in long delays and potential issues as you begin to compile this safety file. Any mistakes or missing information will delay the handover and result in costly time delays and this will also negatively affect your profit margins. That is why employing Social Housing Co. from the beginning will ultimately lead to more efficient process that gives you the piece of mind as you know that we are ensuring the information required for your safety file is being collected and compiled throughout the development.