Green Energy Grants Ireland | SEAI Grants | Home Energy Grants | Lower Mortgage Rates

Green Grants could help you towards a lower interest rate on your mortgage, a more marketable property and reduced utility bills – it’s a no-brainer. Becoming a more sustainable and greener community is the responsibility of us all and at McKenna & Co we take great pride in working towards this global issue with our in-office sustainability project and practices but how can we help you on this mission for a greener home.  One way to contribute is to think about how you can make your home more sustainable in your energy use. Thinking about how your home or business can be more energy efficient not only helps Ireland become more sustainable but can also helphomeowners and businesses save in energy costs, reduce your interest rate with yourlender and ultimately make your home more attractive to a potential buyer. The Sustainable energy authority of Ireland or Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) offers grants to homeowners and businesses to achieve just that, and we encourage our clients to consider availing of them where they are eligible. There are a number of grants available currently depending on your criteria and eligibility. Types of Grants for Consideration Individual Energy Upgrade Grants – private homeowners and landlords One Stop Shop Service – private homeowners and landlords Fully Funded Energy Upgrade – homeowners in receipt of certain welfare payments Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant.​ Individual Energy Upgrade Grants This is a step-by-step upgrade of your home for homeowners and landlords who want tomanage their own project.  There is no minimum BER required to avail of this grant, your home just needs to be built and occupied before 2011 for insulation and heating controls and before 2021 for heat pumps and renewable systems.  By selecting this type of grant, you will manage the upgrade to include selecting the contractor, applying for the grant, managing the works completed by the contractor and following up in relation to the BER cert.  The homeowners will receive the grant once the works have been completed and grant paperwork submitted. SEAI grants Ireland available include Attic Insulation, Wall Insulation, Heating Controls, Heat Pump, Solar Thermal and Solar PV. The exact amounts available for each grant is available to view of the SEAI website along with the grant application process. One Stop Shop Service This is for homeowners and landlords looking for multiple energy upgrades, there is a minimum B2 BER required and your home needs to be built and occupied before 2011.  This grant includes the project to be managed from start to finish by the one-stop shop service to include application for the grant and a home energy assessment. The one-stop shop must be on the list of SEAI registered contractors Dublin listed on the SEAI website.  The services offered are as the individual energy upgrade grant but instead of being self-managed, this is managed by the one-stop shop. Fully Funded Energy Upgrade There is a fully funded and apart funded grant. There is a fully funded upgrade for citizensreceiving welfare allowances (a full list is available on the SEAI website). Homes eligible for the grant must be built and occupied before 2006, the home must be the applicants main residence and the applicant is receiving at least one of the welfare payments detailed on the SEAI website.  The service is managed by the SEAI from start to finish to include home energy assessment and grant application. The upgrades which are offered through the grant are attic insulation, wall insulation, lagging jackets, draught proofing, efficient lighting, new heating systems and new windows. This is particularly beneficial for those looking into insulation grants for pensioners Ireland or heating grants for pensioners Ireland. Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant. The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant is a payment you can get if you are turning avacant house or building into your permanent home or a rental property. A grant of up to€50,000 is available. If the refurbishment costs exceed the standard grant of up to €50,000, a top-up grant amount of up to €20,000 is available. See below.  To qualify for the grant, you must: 1) have proof of ownership or evidence of active negotiations to buy the property (that is, confirmation of engagement from the estate agent or owner of the property) where you are seeking approval in principle for a grant 2)  live in the property as your principal private residence or make it available for rent 3)  have proof that the property has been vacant for at least 2 years and that it was builtup to and including 2007   Local authorities administer the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant.   These grants offer great incentives for homeowners and business owners to commit to a more sustainable approach to their energy use. Not only does it make financial sense to avail of these as the cost of energy consumption will decrease, but it also supports Ireland’s move towards sustainability. The home energy grants Ireland and solar energy grants Ireland are designed to make the transition to energy efficiency as smooth as possible, whether you’re interested in solar panel grants, EV charger grant, or insulation grants.   Written by: Bethany Youngson and Lisa McKenna This blog is for general guidance only and not intended as professional advice.Advice should always be taken before acting on any of the grants identified. Contact Us Get in Touch with Us! We’ll respond to you within 24 hours of a working day. Name Email Message Send

 Irish Property Law

Understanding Irish Property Law: A Comprehensive Guide for Buyers Navigating the complexities of Irish Property Law can be a daunting task for both first-time buyers and seasoned investors. Ireland’s property market has its own set of rules and regulations that govern how transactions are conducted. This guide aims to demystify the process and provide you with essential knowledge to make informed decisions. In this detailed guide, we will explore key facets of Irish property law, shedding light on crucial considerations before embarking on your property journey. What is Property Law? Property law is a specialised legal field that encompasses the rights and interests individuals have in real property. Real property refers to land and anything permanently affixed to it, such as buildings and structures. The primary goal of property law is to regulate the relationships between individuals and entities concerning real property, ensuring orderly and fair ownership, use, and transfer of these assets. Overview of Property Transactions in Ireland Understanding the Irish property market’s legal and financial landscape is crucial, whether you’re buying, selling, or renting. Here’s what you need to know: Framework and Mandates: In Ireland, the legal foundation of property transactions is solidified by the Statute of Frauds Act and the Family Home Protection Act, among other legislations. These laws are pivotal, requiring all property sales contracts to be documented in writing. Such contracts must comprehensively outline the terms of the agreement, including specifics of the property, the agreed price, and any stipulated conditions. Particularly for married couples selling property, mutual consent is a prerequisite under the Family Home Protection Act, ensuring both parties are equally protected and involved. Dynamics of Property Rentals in Ireland Governance and Obligations: The realm of property rentals in Ireland is steered by the Residential Tenancies Act. This act delineates the rights and duties of landlords and tenants, embedding provisions for the security of tenure, mechanisms for rent adjustment, and avenues for dispute resolution. It mandates landlords to uphold minimum property standards and engage in the official registration of tenancies with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), ensuring a structured and fair rental market. Rights and Duties of Tenants: Occupying a rental property comes with its set of entitlements and responsibilities. Tenants are assured the right to a habitable and secure living space, the expectation of privacy, and timely notifications of rent adjustments. Concurrently, they bear the obligation to remit rent punctually, maintain the property in good condition, and promptly communicate any requisite repairs to the landlord, fostering a respectful and cooperative landlord-tenant relationship. The Process of Buying Property in Ireland Buying property in Ireland involves several key steps, each with legal implications that require careful consideration: Types of Sales: Properties can be acquired either through private sales or public auctions. Private sales are more common and involve negotiations through real estate agents. Public auctions, while potentially more competitive, necessitate thorough preparation, including legal checks, surveys, and financing arrangements before bidding. Understanding Property Titles: In Ireland, property ownership is documented as either Land Registry (Registered) or Registry of Deeds (Unregistered) titles: Land Registry Titles: These provide a clear record of ownership, boundaries, and any rights or restrictions on the property. This system offers a high level of security and clarity for owners. Registry of Deeds Titles: This historical system records property transactions rather than the properties themselves. While it offers a form of ownership proof, it can sometimes lead to complexities in establishing clear title boundaries. Freehold vs. Leasehold: Properties in Ireland are typically held on a freehold or leasehold basis. A freehold interest grants the owner complete control over the property, whereas a leasehold interest means the property is leased for a specific term, potentially impacting long-term plans and resale value. Key Legal Considerations Several legal considerations are essential when purchasing property in Ireland: Searches and Enquiries: Conducting thorough searches and enquiries is vital to uncover any legal issues that may affect the property. This includes planning searches to understand zoning and potential developments, as well as ensuring there are no outstanding legal claims or disputes. Costs and Fees: Understanding the full spectrum of costs involved in property transactions, including stamp duty, solicitor fees, and additional charges, is essential for budgeting. Hidden costs can significantly impact the overall investment required.   How McKenna & Co. Solicitors Can Help McKenna & Co. Solicitors offers specialised legal services tailored to the nuances of Irish Property Law. Our expertise covers: Navigating Legal Complexities: Whether it’s understanding the type of property title, conducting due diligence, or navigating the auction process, we provide clear, comprehensive guidance. Tailored Legal Advice: Our team offers personalised advice based on your specific circumstances and goals, ensuring that your property purchase or sale aligns with your long-term objectives. Streamlined Conveyancing: We aim to make the conveyancing process as smooth and efficient as possible, minimising stress and maximising success in your property transactions.   Embarking on a property journey in Ireland necessitates a thorough understanding of the legal landscape. By unravelling the intricacies of Irish property law, buyers can make informed decisions, ensuring a smooth and legally sound transaction. If you’re navigating the Irish property market, don’t go it alone. Contact McKenna & Co. Solicitors today to ensure your property journey is successful, legally sound, and aligned with your personal and financial goals. Contact Us Get in Touch with Us! We’ll respond to you within 24 hours of a working day. Name Email Message Send

Solicitor for Buying a House | Property Solicitor for Your House

The Essential Guide to Solicitors in the House Buying Process: Why You Need Them When embarking on the journey to purchase a home, the path can be fraught with legal complexities and procedural nuances that can confuse even the most astute buyers. This is where the expertise of a solicitor becomes indispensable.  Solicitors specialising in property transactions play a pivotal role in ensuring that the legal transfer of property from one party to another is executed smoothly and efficiently. This guide delves into the what, why, and how of solicitors in the house buying process, providing you with the knowledge to navigate your home buying journey with confidence. What Is a Solicitor, and What Role Do They Play in Buying a House? A solicitor in the context of buying a house is a legal professional who specialises in property law and is tasked with overseeing the legal aspects of buying or selling property.  Their responsibilities encompass a wide range of tasks, including conducting property searches, handling contracts, offering legal advice, managing the transfer of funds, and ensuring the property is legally transferred from the seller to the buyer. Why Do You Need a Solicitor When Buying a House? Legal ExpertiseThe legalities involved in buying a house are complex and varied. A solicitor’s expertise ensures that you are legally protected throughout the process. Conducting SearchesSolicitors conduct several critical searches on the property, including local authority searches, environmental searches, and title searches, to uncover any issues that might affect the property’s value or your ownership of it. Handling ContractsFrom drafting to reviewing and finalising the purchase contract, solicitors ensure that the terms are fair and protect your interests. Managing FundsSolicitors oversee the financial transactions involved in the purchase, including transferring the purchase funds to the seller’s solicitor and handling the associated fees and taxes. Mitigating RisksBy identifying potential problems early in the process, solicitors help mitigate risks that could cause delays or financial losses. The Solicitor’s Process in Buying a House: A Step-by-Step Overview Initial Consultation This step involves discussing your needs, the property details, and any specific legal requirements or concerns you may have Conducting Searches and Due Diligence The solicitor conducts various searches to identify any legal, environmental, or planning issues related to the property Reviewing and Advising on Contracts Your solicitor will review the sale contract, negotiate terms with the seller’s solicitor, and advise you on the implications of the contract terms. Managing the Exchange of Contracts Once both parties are satisfied, contracts are exchanged, and the deal becomes legally binding Completion and Transfer of Funds On the completion date, your solicitor will transfer the purchase funds to the seller’s solicitor, and you will receive the keys to your new home Post-Completion Formalities Your solicitor will handle the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax, register you as the new owner with the Land Registry, and tie up any loose ends This step involves discussing your needs, the property details, and any specific legal requirements or concerns you may have The solicitor conducts various searches to identify any legal, environmental, or planning issues related to the property Your solicitor will review the sale contract, negotiate terms with the seller’s solicitor, and advise you on the implications of the contract terms. Once both parties are satisfied, contracts are exchanged, and the deal becomes legally binding On the completion date, your solicitor will transfer the purchase funds to the seller’s solicitor, and you will receive the keys to your new home Your solicitor will handle the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax, register you as the new owner with the Land Registry, and tie up any loose ends Choosing the Right Solicitor for Your House Purchase The process of buying a house is complex and filled with legal intricacies. Having a knowledgeable and experienced solicitor by your side is not just beneficial; it’s essential. Here’s what to consider when selecting the right solicitor for your property purchase: Expertise in Property Law Look for a solicitor who specialises in property law and has a comprehensive understanding of the home buying process. This includes knowledge of current regulations, the ability to conduct thorough property searches, and expertise in handling contracts and negotiations. Track Record and Experience Consider the solicitor’s experience and success in handling property transactions similar to yours. A solicitor with a strong track record in successfully navigating complex transactions can provide invaluable guidance and support. Clear Communication Your solicitor should be someone who communicates clearly, promptly, and in a way that you understand. This includes explaining legal jargon, keeping you informed about the progress of your transaction, and being readily available to answer your questions. Client Reviews and Recommendations Look for reviews from past clients to gauge the solicitor’s performance and client satisfaction. Personal recommendations from friends or family who have had a positive experience with a solicitor can also be incredibly valuable. Professional Accreditation Check for professional accreditation such as membership in recognised legal societies or certifications in property law. These accreditations are a testament to the solicitor’s commitment to maintaining high standards in their practice. Service Flexibility Consider whether the solicitor offers services that cater to your specific needs, such as the ability to conduct home visits if you cannot visit their office. This flexibility can be a significant advantage in making the process more convenient for you. Cost Transparency Ensure that the solicitor offers clear information about their fees and any additional costs associated with your transaction. A reputable solicitor should provide a detailed breakdown of costs, helping you budget effectively for your house purchase. Personal Fit Finally, it’s important that you feel comfortable with your solicitor. This person will be your guide through one of the most significant transactions of your life, so having a good rapport and trust in their abilities is crucial. As we’ve explored the indispensable role of solicitors in the house buying process, it’s clear that having the right legal expertise is critical to navigating this journey successfully. For those looking to make

Navigating the Winds of Change: Irish House Prices in 2023

As we pass the halfway mark of 2023, the Irish housing market finds itself amidst a mix of tailwinds and headwinds. The first quarter of the year witnessed a 0.3% decline in asking prices,driven by changes in the capital city. Dublin experienced a sharper fall compared to the rest of the country of 0.8%. The rest of Ireland saw a marginal rise of 0.2%. This adjustment in prices is attributed to the cooling off of frothy valuations that accumulated during the pandemic. Furthermore, the Central Statistics Office’s Residential Property Price Index (RPPI) indicates a continued decline in transaction prices, particularly in Dublin. In this article, we will explore the factors shaping the Irish housing market in 2023, both positive and challenging. Vulnerable Valuations and Price Corrections Dublin’s average housing price, as of January 2023, is €541,000. This represents nine times the average income for most buyers, and highlights the vulnerability of stretched valuations to correction. The correction is necessary to restore balance and sustainability to the market. However, it is important to note that while significant house price declines are anticipated in countries like the United Kingdom and the United States, Ireland is unlikely to follow suit. Resilient Economy and Buoyant Demand One of the key factors supporting the Irish housing market is the buoyancy of demand. This, in no small way, is driven by the ongoing resilient performance of the Irish economy. The performance of the economy is good news. However, the OECD does sound a note of caution, saying that “while the fiscal position is currently strong, with buoyant revenues, a number of pressures arising from ageing, housing, health, and climate change create fiscal risks in the longer term.” Despite the challenges, the demand for housing remains robust. This contributes to the market’s stability and prevents a free-fall scenario. Limited Housing Supply Another favourable factor for the pricing element of the Irish housing market, though a political and social concern of note, is the acute shortage of housing supply. With only 13,600 properties listed for sale on MyHome in April 2023, significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels of over 20,000, the market remains tight. Additionally, the average time to sale agreed is at a historic low of three to four months. These constraints on supply provide support for housing prices throughout 2023. Moderate Interest Rate Environment Compared to the Bank of England or the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to maintain a less aggressive approach in raising interest rates. This relatively moderate interest rate environment helps mitigate potential downward pressure on Irish house prices. Easing of Mortgage Lending Rules The surprise decision by the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) to loosen mortgage lending rules will gradually exert upward pressure on house prices. The regulatory threshold adjustment for first-time buyers’ loan-to-income ratios (LTIs) has already had an impact, with a significant increase in average first-time buyer mortgage approvals in February. The CBI estimates that this rule change will eventually add 8% to house prices. This possible effect may become more evident in the second half of 2023. Uncertainties and Conclusion As the housing market does not exist in isolation, the future of Irish house prices remains uncertain. Small price falls cannot be entirely ruled out. The weak start to 2023 in terms of asking prices and the ongoing correction in certain areas indicate potential further adjustments. However, as the year moves into the peak of summer, the tight housing market, the resilience of the economy, and the easing of the CBI’s mortgage lending rules are expected to provide support to Irish house prices. In conclusion, while the Irish housing market faces both challenges and opportunities in 2023, the overall outlook suggests a measured and cautious approach. With a revised forecast of 1.5% house price inflation for the year, we anticipate a possible divergence between declines in the capital and modest price gains in other parts of Ireland. Please note that the content of this blog does not amount to professional advice. Legal advice should be sought in respect of specific queries. This update is provided on the basis of information available as of June 2023. For further information, please contact any member of the McKenna and Co Property Team.

The Essential Guide to Property Solicitors in Dublin: Ensuring a Smooth Real Estate Transaction

Are you looking at buying a property in Dublin? Do you need help with how property solicitors in Dublin can help you with your big purchase? Our team at McKenna and Co. Solicitors are here to give you three essential points on how our property solicitors in Dublin can help you secure your new home safely and securely! Property Solicitors Dublin When it comes to buying or selling property in Dublin, enlisting the services of a skilled and experienced property solicitor is vital. Property transactions involve complex legal processes that require the expertise of real estate law professionals. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of property solicitors in Dublin and discuss three key points to consider when choosing the right solicitor for your needs. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, having a reliable property solicitor by your side can make all the difference in ensuring a smooth and successful transaction. Do your property solicitors in Dublin have in-depth Knowledge of Property Law and Regulations? One of the primary advantages of hiring a property solicitor in Dublin is their in-depth knowledge of property laws and regulations. A reputable solicitor will thoroughly understand the legal framework governing real estate transactions, including contract law, property rights, zoning regulations, and more. Their expertise allows them to navigate complex legal documents, review contracts, and identify any potential issues or risks that may arise during the transaction. With a knowledgeable property solicitor, you can proceed confidently, knowing that all legal aspects are being handled effectively. How can property solicitors in Dublin help you with contract review and negotiations? Property transactions involve extensive paperwork, including contracts, agreements, and disclosure documents. A skilled property solicitor will be crucial in reviewing and negotiating these documents on your behalf. They will carefully analyse the terms and conditions, ensuring that your interests are protected, and there are no hidden clauses or unfavourable provisions. Additionally, they can negotiate with the other party or their solicitor to reach mutually beneficial terms, addressing any concerns or issues arising during the process. A skilled negotiator can help you achieve the best possible outcome in your real estate transaction. How can they help you with due diligence and title searches? Conducting thorough due diligence is a crucial step in any property transaction. Your property solicitor will perform comprehensive searches and investigations to ensure that the property you buy or sell is free from legal encumbrances or disputes. This includes conducting title searches, reviewing planning and development permissions, checking for outstanding mortgages or liens, and verifying property boundaries. By conducting meticulous due diligence, your solicitor can provide you with a clear understanding of the property’s legal status and minimise the risk of any unforeseen issues arising after the transaction. Property transactions in Dublin require the expertise of skilled property solicitors who possess a deep understanding of real estate law and regulations. By hiring a reputable property solicitor, you can access their in-depth knowledge, contract review and negotiation skills, and thorough due diligence capabilities. These professionals play a vital role in safeguarding your interests and ensuring a smooth and successful real estate transaction. When it comes to property solicitors in Dublin, choose wisely and enlist the services of a trusted and experienced professional to guide you through the complexities of buying or selling property in the vibrant city.

The role of a conveyancing solicitor when you buy property in Ireland

Buying a property can be one of the most significant purchases you make in your lifetime, and it’s important to ensure that everything goes smoothly. From a property law perspective, one of the key professionals involved in the process of buying a property in Ireland is a conveyancing solicitor. In this blog post, we will discuss the role of a conveyancing solicitor in buying property in Ireland. What is conveyancing? Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring ownership of property from one person to another. This process involves a series of steps, including obtaining necessary documentation, conducting searches, and negotiating contracts. Conveyancing can be a complex process, and it’s important to have a solicitor with experience and expertise to guide you through it. Role of a conveyancing solicitor A conveyancing solicitor plays an important role in the purchase of a property. They are responsible for ensuring that the legalities of the sale are handled correctly, and that you are fully aware of your legal rights and obligations throughout the process. Some of the key roles of a conveyancing solicitor include: 1. Drafting contracts One of the primary roles of a conveyancing solicitor is to draft the contract for sale. This is a legally binding document that outlines the terms of the sale, including the purchase price, the closing date, and any conditions that must be met before the sale can be finalised. The solicitor will work with the seller’s solicitor to ensure that the contract is fair and balanced, and that all parties understand their obligations. 2. Conducting searches Before you purchase a property, it’s important to conduct various searches to ensure that there are no legal or financial issues that could impact your ownership of the property. A conveyancing solicitor will conduct these searches on your behalf, including title searches, planning searches, and environmental searches. These searches help to identify any issues that may need to be addressed before the sale can be completed. 3. Advising on legal issues Buying a property involves a range of legal issues, from understanding your rights as a buyer to ensuring that you comply with all relevant laws and regulations. A conveyancing solicitor will provide advice and guidance on these legal issues, including zoning and planning regulations, property taxes, and stamp duty. They will also ensure that all necessary legal documentation is in place, such as deeds, mortgage agreements, and transfer documents. 4. Facilitating the transfer of funds The purchase of a property involves a significant amount of money changing hands. A conveyancing solicitor will facilitate the transfer of funds between the buyer and seller, ensuring that all payments are made in a timely and secure manner. They will also ensure that any outstanding debts or charges on the property are settled before the sale is completed. 5. Representing your interests Throughout the process of buying a property, your conveyancing solicitor will represent your interests and ensure that your rights are protected. They will negotiate with the seller’s solicitor on your behalf, ensuring that you get the best possible deal. They will also advise you on any issues that may arise during the process and ensure that you are fully informed about all aspects of the purchase. Choosing a conveyancing solicitor Choosing the right conveyancing solicitor is essential to ensuring a smooth and successful property purchase. Three factors to consider when selecting a conveyancing solicitor:   Experience: Look for a solicitor with experience in property law and conveyancing. They should have a good understanding of the legal and regulatory issues involved in buying property in Ireland. Reputation: Check the solicitor’s reputation online, and look for reviews or testimonials from past clients. You can also ask for referrals from friends or family members who have recently purchased property. Fees: Conveyancing fees can vary significantly between solicitors. Make sure that you understand the fee Conveyancing solicitors have expert knowledge of property law in Ireland. They can provide valuable legal advice to buyers and ensure that all legal requirements are met during the conveyancing process. Perhaps best of all, your conveyancing solicitor will reduce the risk of legal issues arising during the sale. This means you can enjoy the process of buying your new home with far less stress and way more happy anticipation. Our firm specialises in property law. Please Lisa McKenna at or 01 4854563 for a no obligation chat if you’re planning on buying a property. We’d be delighted to help!

Should we rent or buy? What to consider!

Lina Oksaite from our Property Team discusses renting vs buying in today’s market Statistics show that by 2018, home ownership in Ireland had increased up to 70.3% and people continue to buy homes for various reasons, be it for their own use or as an investment, especially in present times where renting a property is almost impossible. One may see that owning a home may be an investment and another may see renting as a way of saving their money and ensuring that their finances and any outgoings are stable and predictable, so they are able to plan and even save. Of course, many of us cannot imagine how paying money into landlords’ pockets, can be of any benefit at all. It has been noted that statistics show 14% rise in rents in 2022 alone, which is one of the highest increases in rental prices so far in Ireland according to, Irelands most popular property website. notes that at the end of 2016, there were less than 2,800 homes for sale in the Dublin market, however, in comparison, in December 2018, there are over 4,800 and it continues to increase making it harder for people to find homes to rent as selling property becomes more favorable. In 2022 there were only 345 homes to rent in Dublin and 1087 homes nationwide, which explains why renting is becoming unaffordable for many.It is important to note that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, forced many residents to move and re-locate, some of whom have ended up in Ireland also increasing the demand for housing. Article 31 of the Council of Europe’s Revised European Social Charter sets out that the responsibility of the State is to: “promote access to housing of an adequate standard, to prevent and reduce homelessness with a view to its gradual elimination, and to make the price of housing accessible to those without adequate resources.” Over the past number of years, Ireland has been struggling to maintain affordable accommodation for renting purposes and even with the introduction of HAP, tenants face serious issues as their income may be “just little bit over” the threshold and they would fall outside the eligibility for this scheme. If you are one of the lucky ones and manage to secure a tenancy, one of the most obvious advantages, is that as a tenant, your responsibilities are limited such as to pay rent, keep the property in good condition as far as practicable and to pay some of utilities such as gas/electricity. Your Lease would usually contain all the covenants that you agree to by signing the Lease for a specific term. As a tenant in the property, you do not need to concern yourself with property taxes, management Fees or even repairs that may be due. You have flexibility in terms of your lifestyle, being able to move around without worrying about leaving your property behind or selling it. Renting property also provides the tenant with fixed expenditure therefore allowing the tenant to predict their expenditure and budget accordingly. However, if you are a considerably large family or wishing to settle it could be extremely difficult as a Lease would only last for a specific term and the Landlord is entitled to re-claim their property at any time for their own use or sale. This can be very unsettling as families usually find it difficult moving homes. Threshold, the tenants’ rights organization, which provides independent advice and advocacy to people experiencing housing problems, have reported that there is an ongoing increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness each month and even the lucky tenants are now forced to accept low-standard properties as supply drops but demand keeps increasing. In its report of 13 October 2022 called “Renting and Risk”, Threshold mentions the 2019 Focus Ireland Report, which found that 68% of homeless families in Dublin reported their last stable home as being in the private rented sector, with just over one-third of these becoming homeless because their rental property had been removed from the market (e.g., landlord selling). On the other hand, buying a house is a big step for anyone. The most obvious advantage is that it creates stability for families. You are your own boss, you can keep pets, make improvements you like, and no one is there to tell you otherwise. With rent prices being so high, you may see it more profitable to pay a mortgage which would be the same or less than rent payments. Especially nowadays where renting is so hard to find for a reasonable price. RTB statistics show that average rent payments in Dublin are around €2000 while average monthly mortgage instalments according to Bank of Ireland Calculators, could range between €1,300-€1,700 for a reasonably sized property, therefore meaning that paying a mortgage especially if you are living in Dublin, could be cheaper than renting a home. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Buying a home is a big financial expense. You are required to have a deposit of 10% and a wage of a certain level if you wish to get a mortgage as the size of the mortgage you are able to receive will always depend on your income. Any loans, or similar commitments will also reduce the size of the Loan you are able to receive. Apart from your mortgage, there is other expenditure you may incur such as paying taxes e.g. LPT, if it’s an apartment you will have to pay management fee, you will be responsible for repairs etc. Owning a home means you cannot just move without having a responsibility to look after it or being forced to dispose of the property, which also can be a great expenditure, especially where the market value falls, and you are not able to sell your property for the value you bought it. Despite the above, many people still choose to buy property due to the market being so good at this time and they are able to

The Help to Buy Scheme- Top 5 Questions Answered

Rachael Mc Cormack from our property team answers the the most commonly asked questions in respect of the help to buy scheme What is the scheme and why was it created? The Help to Buy Scheme was firstly set up by the Irish Government in 2017 to allow first time home buyers to get their foot onto the property ladder. It’s designed to help first time buyers raise their contractual deposit needed to either purchase or build a new home. The tax incentive works in a way of a tax refund of Income Tax and Deposit Interest Retention Tax over the last 4 years which can result in a refund of up to €30,000.00. This scheme has now been extended until 31 December 2024. Who is eligible? For a person to qualify for this tax incentive, they are required to be a first time buyer who is either buying or building a new home up to the value of €500,000.00. If you are buying with another person, they too must be considered as a first-time buyer. The initiative is only applicable to new built homes, it does not apply to second hand homes, buy to let properties or renovated properties. How to apply? When applying for the Help to Buy Scheme there is two stages; The Application Stage (Preliminary stage) A person must be tax compliant in order to apply for this tax incentive. A person would apply through their “my account” with revenue, they can apply as an individual or as part of a group if buying with another person. If revenue confirms that the applicant has been tax compliant, they are given an application number, a summary of the maximum amount they can receive and an access code. The Claim Stage A valid claim must be submitted before the applications expires, otherwise an application would have to be resubmitted. If an application was submitted between the dates of 1st January and 30th September, it would expire on the 31st December of the same year, if the application was submitted on the 1st October and 31st December it would expire on 31st March of the following year. Once the applicant’s contract for sale and loan offer has been signed it is then required to be uploaded to their claim application. Revenue then provides the applicant with a claim reference and access code which is required to be provided to the Developer and their Solicitor in order to obtain the tax refund which would represent the remaining contractual deposit. Can you use a Mortgage with the HTB? Yes, a person who is eligible for the scheme may use the assistance of finance with the Help to Buy Scheme. It is important to note that Revenue has a requirement in place to be complied before a person can make a successful claim under the initiative being that the person must take out a mortgage of at least 70% of the purchase price. Revenue will provide an application number and access code once your application has been accepted which will be needed to be provided to your lending institution. How is the Tax refund received? Once the application stage has been completed, the applicant is then sent for verification. This process involves the Developer if purchasing a new build or the applicants Solicitors if building a new home to verify the sale. Once the claim has been verified the tax refund is provided to either the Developer in circumstances of purchasing a new build property or the applicants solicitor in circumstances where the applicant is building their home. *Please note that the content of this blog does not amount to professional advice. Legal advice should be sought in respect of specific queries. This update is provided on the basis of information available as at February 2023. For further information, please contact Rachael McCormack/Lisa McKenna or any member of the McKenna & Co Property Team.

First Home Scheme [FHS]- Is it more of a hindrance than a help!

Jack Duhig from our Property Team outlines the rules of the FHS to include the process. The First Home Scheme was launched in July 2022 and is available to first time home owners purchasing a new build or “fresh start” applicants purchasing a new build who have been adjudged bankrupt or who are divorced/ separated with no interest in the family home. Not only does the purchaser have to qualify for the FHS, but the mortgage provider must be one that participates in the scheme and thirdly; the property itself must also qualify. The rules vary for what properties qualify by purchase price according to County Council areas and in is recommend that you have a look at the FHS eligibility calculator on the FHS website to see what properties qualify in your area. The FHS is different from the Help to Buy Scheme as the FHS is a shared-equity facility, whereby the State pays up to 30% of the purchase price of the property and takes a commensurate stake in the property. If a purchaser is also availing of the Help to Buy Scheme, the amount of equity that can be contributed by the FHS is reduced. There are no charges for availing of the FHS for the fist five years, and thereafter there is a percentage charge applied each year called a service charge which gradually increases to a 2.85% charge in year 30. If after 30 years you have not bought back the equity, and you got a €30,000 facility from the scheme, you will have to pay a service charge of €855 per annum. There are several scenarios which trigger the redemption of the equity, for example if the property is sold or if the home owner dies, where the equity share will have to be “bought back” in full. It is important to note that the FHS is entitled to a percentage share of the property’s value, so if they initially contributed €30,000 which was 10% of the property purchase price, and the value of the property subsequently doubled, the FHS is still entitled to 10% which is now €60,000, on an event which triggers redemption. The FHS recipient does not have to wait until a redemption event to buy back the equity in the property and can do so at any point, or they can pay it back in installments of at least 5% of the original amount received. Practically speaking for the FHS applicant, your solicitor will receive the FHS legal pack around the same time that they receive the legal pack from the mortgage provider and will be able to advise on both at the same meeting. Once all documents are submitted to the FHS by the solicitor, the FHS will disburse funds directly to the solicitor’s client account in the same manner which happens with loan funds from your mortgage provider. It is recommended by the FHS that you obtain independent financial advice as well as legal advice before availing of the scheme. The FHS has proved popular with over 800 applications so far and the initiative forms part of the Government’s “Housing for all” plan.  *Please note that the content of this blog does not amount to professional advice. Legal advice should be sought in respect of specific queries. This update is provided on the basis of information available as at January 2023. For further information, please contact Jack Duhig/Lisa McKenna or any member of the McKenna & Co Property Team.

Eviction Ban Bill 2022

The Cabinet has approved legislation that will grant a temporary and conditional delay on tenant terminations for the length of the present housing crisis, according to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien. No-fault tenancy terminations scheduled for the next winter months will be postponed until 31 March 2023 under the Residential Tenancies (Deferment of Termination Dates of Certain Tenancies) Bill 2022.   Exemptions to the termination of residential tenancies are considered to be the following; damage to the property over and above normal wear and tear, anti – social behaviour, non – payment of rent or invalidating insurance.   Your termination date will be delayed until after the eviction ban if it comes between 30 October 2022 and 31 March 2023. Depending on how long you’ve been renting and when your lease originally ended, your new termination date will change.   Property rights in Ireland are subject to the common good however coming into Winter the government want to make sure people are not fearful that they’re going to be evicted. So, this is a temporary measure insuring a short term solution to potential homelessness this Winter.