Welcome to the Irish Property Owners Association website

The Irish Property Owners Association established 1993 seeks to protect and promote the interests of private residential landlords and encourage the supply of good quality accommodation and professional standards of management.

This site sets out to provide information for the Association’s members, landlords, prospective members and related organisations. For information on the Association, how to join or contact us, up-and-coming general meetings, the services we provide, recent legislation and other news and items of interest, use the links below or on the side. While we do everything in our power to provide accurate information, this is a general guide only and not an interpretation of the law. The website is currently being developed and some items may not be fully working, please bear with us while we improve it.

Telephone:- 8276000.   Address: Ashtown Business Centre, Navan Road, Dublin 15.

Property Tax deductible from rental income – When?

Following strong representations and extensive lobbying by the IPOA, including meeting the Thornhill Group, Ministers, TD’s, Senators, and Government Departments, we finally got a break (albeit a small one!) – the Local Property Tax, will be allowable as an expense against rental income. However, clarity is required from the Minister who is reported as saying that it will be “phased in”. We do not accept that and are arguing strenuously that it should apply immediately. Members should raise this with their own local TD’s and Senators.

Budget Update 12-10-2016
Living City Incentive (LCI)
A number of amendments are being made to the Living City Initiative. The principal amendments provide for the extension of the residential element of the initiative to lessors and the removal of the floor area restrictions.
Mortgage Interest Relief Residential Investments
The rate of tax relief for interest on borrowings used in the purchase, improvement or repair of residential rental property is increased from 75% to 80% in respect of interest accruing on or after 1 January 2017. It will increase by 5% every subsequent year until it reaches 100%.
Home Renovation Incentive (HRI)
The Home Renovation Incentive is extended for two more years, to end on 31 December 2018. This will allow additional time for landlords and homeowners to make the necessary renovations to their properties, and provide additional support to the construction sector for another two years.
CAPITAL ACQUISITIONS TAX (CAT)
Tax-free Thresholds The Capital Acquisitions Tax Group tax-free thresholds are increased as follows:
Threshold Existing Level New Level A applies where the beneficiary is a child (including adopted child, step-child and certain foster children) or is a minor child of a deceased child of the disponer. Parents also fall within this threshold where they take an inheritance of an absolute interest from a child. Increased from €280,000 to €310,000
B applies where the beneficiary is a brother, sister, a nephew, a niece or lineal ancestor or lineal descendant of the disponer. Increased from €30,150 to €32,500
C applies in all other cases. Increased from €15,075 to €16,250
The new Group tax-free thresholds apply to gifts and inheritances taken on or after 12 October 2016.

More details budget-summary-2017 (1)

September 2016  Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations are being reviewed

The Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008

Articles 6, 7 & 8

On the 1st of February, 2013, Articles 6, 7 and 8 of the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008 came into effect for all residential rented accommodation.

This means that all rental accommodation must have its own separate sanitary facilities. In addition, updated requirements in relation to heating and facilities for cooking, food storage and laundry also apply. A summary of these articles’ requirements is set out below.

  • Sanitary Facilities – Article 6

All rental accommodation must have a separate room, contained within the rented dwelling, with a toilet, wash basin and a fixed bath or shower with hot and cold water facilities.

  • Heating Facilities – Article 7

All habitable rooms must contain a fixed appliance capable of providing effective heating and the tenant must be able to control the operation of such an appliance.

  • Food Preparation and Storage and Laundry – Article 8

Each rented dwelling must have adequate facilities for the hygienic storage, preparation and cooking of food, and access to a washing machine and dryer.

Responsibility for enforcement of these standards rests with the local authorities. The penalties for non-compliance with the Regulations is a fine of €5,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both, and the fine for each day of a continuing offence is €400.

Further details on the Standards for Rented Houses are available but double clicking on  S.I. No. 534 of 2008 Housing Standards, these should be read in conjunction with their update which make some changes in 2009 and are available here S.I. No 462 of 2009 Housing Standards for Rented Houses

Buildings Energy Rating Update

As per Statutory Instrument No. 243 of 2012, published 10th July 2012, with effect from 9th JANUARY 2013, BER Certificates have to be produced at every potential letting and the current energy rating must be contained on any advertisement when selling or letting. Detailed guidelines have been issued by SEAI and these are available at   BER Advertising Guidelines – Issue 1 Dec 2012 .

Residential Tenancies (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 2012

The Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan T.D., published the Residential Tenancies (Amendment)(No. 2) Bill 2012 which will see:

  • Those tenancies in the voluntary and cooperative housing sector that most closely parallel private rented tenancies being regulated under the Act.
  • The agency responsible for regulation of the tenant-landlord relationship, the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB), being re-named as the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).
  • Formal effect given to the merger of the Rent Tribunal with the Residential Tenancies Board.
  • A reduction in the size of the Board, from 15 to 12 members.
  • Measures to increase the take-up of mediation as a key dispute resolution mechanism.
  • Amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act 2012 have been long waited by the private rental sector and the IPOA have been lobbying for amendments since 2004.

The Programme for Government commits to the creation of a deposit protection scheme to address the issue of illegal retention of tenants’ deposits. A Custodial Deposit Protection Scheme is currently being drafted.

The Minister is also determined to address the issue of non-payment of rent by tenants who remain in situ and she confirmed that an amendment to address the matter is currently being drafted and will be ready in time for consideration when the Bill is presented to the Oireachtas.

The Bill  can be downloaded here.

Rent Arrears Update

Members feedback indicates that there is a growing level of rent arrears being experienced by landlords. It should be noted that when bringing a case for rent arrears on part 4 tenancies (or further part 4 tenancies), the following steps should be adhered to:

3 Steps are required to Terminate a Tenancy for Rent arrears

1. Contact either verbally or in writing should be made with the defaulting tenant and they should be advised that they are in rent arrears in the sum of (amount outstanding) and further advising that in the event of the arrears not being brought up to date, the tenancy will be terminated. (Such communications need to be recorded in your diary, the date needs to be noted for use in support of any case that may need to be taken).

2. Issue the notice for non-payment of rent, 14 day notice.

3. Serve a notice of termination for rent arrears.

Ensure that you keep identical copies of each notice for your records – you may need them if a case has to be taken to the PRTB.
If you have any queries or need copies of the letter or notice of termination, please contact the office.  Sample letters are available here.

LICENSING OF PROPERTY SERVICE PROVIDERS

The Property Services Regulatory Authority was established on a statutory basis on 3 April 2012.

One of the main functions of the Authority is the licensing of Property Services Providers.

A person does not need a licence from this Authority to let or sell their own property/land.  Not requiring to be licensed extends to partners where a partnership is involved and to the Directors of company where a company is involved. Employees of a partnership or company require to be licensed if they let the property.

The Authority took over the licensing of Auctioneers/Estate Agents and Letting Agents and introduced the new licensing regime for Management Agents with effect from the 6th July, 2012.

A Guide to Licensing is available on their website clarification is available directly from them.

It is vitally important that members are aware of their responsibility when letting property, and if in doubt, contact;-

Property Services Regulatory Authority
Abbey Buildings, Abbey Road
Navan
Co Meath

Telephone: 046-9033800
Fax: 046-9033888
Lo-Call: 1890-252712
Email: info@psr.ie

Landlords Reject Call for Payment for Water Meters

It has just gone beyond acceptability that we are exposed to this further charge when the NPPR/Household Charges are also for services to our tenants at our premises.
Why should the property owner have to fund these meters? We don’t want them. If the Government insists on metering water supplies to our tenants, then it needs to realise that owners of rental property cannot be expected to pay for the meters which supply water to third parties. Who is ultimately going to reap the benefit of these meters? Clearly, the water supply company is the beneficiary, and what is more, it will be privatised in time to raise further funding for Government – and then people will be exposed to exorbitant costs from private suppliers. It would be far more appropriate if Government took the necessary action to ensure elimination of the major leaks in water supply systems throughout the country.
Government take hold of yourself! We, the major providers of private rental accommodation in this country, have been lambasted with legislation, taxation compliance, rates, and now water charges – we will not fund water meters in the private rental sector.

Buy to Let Investors outrage at the statement of the Governor of the Central Bank on the Repossessions of Buy to Let’s

This is a very dangerous statement in a very exposed market, and we would expect the Governor to be more understanding of the difficulties that landlords are experiencing before he takes away their investment property.

We supply 600,000 people with homes, where people live, and 78,000 of these tenants are supported by the State whose duty it is to house them with the help of Rent Supplement. The Government use the cheap option of the private rented sector to house them and recently introduced further rent control methods by reducing Rent Supplement yet again. Since 2008, the private rental market has been unfairly targeted by successive Governments increasing the costof providing private rental accommodation including:

2008 BER Certificates
2008 Reduction in Rent Supplement
2008 Increased Standards
2009 NPPR Charge of €200
2009 25% reduction in Mortgage Interest allowable
2010 USC @ 4%
2010 Reduction in Rent Supplement
2012 Household Charge
2012 Reduction in Rent Supplement

Stephen Faughnan, Chairman, of the Irish Property Owners Association outlined that “It is unacceptable that people who were led into this market by the Banks giving out money “like snuff at a wake” are now to suffer, as those self-same banks are being encouraged by the Governor of the Central Bank to foreclose on buy-to-let property. Any property that is producing an income has to be geared to pay back its borrowings given the appropriate time span. Repossession will only lead to homelessness for both borrower and tenant, and further seriously damage the property market.”

The banks, which have already been capitalised by the taxpayer, should commence adequate lending again which will allow the property market time to properly recover. Government should reinstate Mortgage Interest Relief to 100% which would allow property owners equality with all other business. The reduction to 75% in 2009 resulted in performing rental properties being placed into a loss making situation. This reduction only affected investors who borrowed, and the more they borrowed, the more damage it caused.

Landlords Call for Market Rent – No Less! No More!

In excess of 500 landlords at an Irish Property Owners Association members meeting in Morans Red Cow Hotel Dublin  called for the Government to pay market rent for Rent Supplement tenants.

Stephen Faughnan, IPOA Chairman, outlined the distrust that property owners have in accepting Rent Supplement tenants, as the rents are being set by Government rather than the market. This may be contrary to the rules of free competition as laid out by the Competition Authority. Market rent is defined by law in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. We do not want to see a situation where tenants are forced to find alternative accommodation. Minister Burton is effectively attempting to reduce market rents without any consultation with landlords or tenants.

The room was packed with well intentioned property owners who now face nothing but problems in keeping going, due to the continual assault by Government with various specific taxes and levies payable by them but which, some or all may be passed on to tenants.

Stephen Faughnan said “landlords should be seen as partners with the Government in providing for the accommodation needs of a large segment of the population. Members are at a very low ebb and are aligning themselves to take action to save their properties, to the extent that a collective default could be used as a solution.”

Result of Legacy Property Tax Relief Assessment

The Minister for Finance decided not to proceed with the proposals put forward by the previous Government  on the Legacy Property Tax Reliefs. The impact assessment report concludes that reliefs to small scale investors should not be restricted but that there is scope for larger investors to contribute more. The Government also believes that large scale investors in property that attracts tax reliefs can, and should make more of a contribution.

A property relief surcharge of 5 per cent is imposed on investors with an annual gross income over €100,000. This will applies on the amount of income sheltered by property reliefs in a given year. More details click property-relief-surcharge[1]

Reliefs in Section 23 type investments are terminated or otherwise restricted for investors with an annual gross income under €100,000 as these are at the greatest risk of insolvency. Investors in Accelerated Capital Allowance schemes are no longer be able to use any capital allowance beyond the tax life of the particular scheme where that tax life ends after 1 January 2015. Where the tax life of a scheme has ended before 1 January 2015, no carry forward of allowances into 2015 will be allowed. The delayed implementation of this measure gives individuals time to adjust.

Submission Made to Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment

The IPOA do not see a necessity for the introduction of a Deposit Protection Scheme. Simply, all we need is a change in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, to allow the Appeals Process in the case of disputes on deposits to be seven days, rather than the current 21 days . This will allow the PRTB to expedite the process of hearing deposit retention cases and decide upon the outcome within 7 days of the notification and have an appeal mechanism available within another 7 days. We would urge you to lobby your public representatives on this situation. To read the submission IPOA Joint Oireachtas Committee (Deposit) Submission.

Impact Assessment of Legacy Property Relief
The Irish Property Owners Association (IPOA) conducted a survey of its members in connection with the legacy property reliefs, particularly Section 23 & 50 relief. The results were collated and summarised in our impact assessment submission document to the Department of Finance.

Mazars, an independent accounting and consulting firm based in Dublin and Galway, managed the survey process and all information submitted by respondents was aggregated prior to publication i.e. it is not possible to identify any particular individual or business in the results.

Marie Barr from Barr Pomrey Accountants compiled the submission on behalf of the IPOA, including the information received from the survey and from individual members and a comprehensive document was submitted.

Housing (Rent Books) (Amendment) Regulations 2010.

On 8th July 2010, Minister Finneran signed Statutory Instrument No. 357 of 2010 into Law amending the existing Rent Book Regulations. These changes are slight but are important. Landlords: ensure that when letting, your rent book complies with these regulations. The changes are:-

Paragraph 3 of the Schedule is amended to ensure that a notice of termination is made in accordance with the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004 and 2009.
Paragraph 8 of the Schedule is amended to ensure compliance with the current minimum standards regulations for the private rented sector.
Paragraph 10 of the Schedule is amended to include reference to the regulations currently in force.
A copy of these regulations can be accessed –  Statutory Instrument 357 of 2010

IPOA Lobbying Successful – Long Equity Leases

The right of a tenant to apply for a long equity lease was abolished from the 1st September 2009. The IPOA fought for its eradication on behalf of all landlords at the Commission and this was included in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.

This entitlement under the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 caused major difficulties for both property owners (landlords) and tenants. Property Owners had to terminate long term tenancies before they reached 20 years to prevent losing control of the property.

If a tenant remained in the property for over 20 years, they could apply for a long equity lease which allowed them a renewable lease up to 35 years. This caused difficulties if the property owner needed to sell, and it also reduced the value of the property.

If a tenant has already got a Long Equity Lease they have a renewable lease, which may be sublet.