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Collaborative approach to separation or divorce, why not consider it?

When a relationship breaks down to the point of separation/divorce there are lot of  emotions such as anger, sadness and resentment by one person towards the other.  With all of these emotions children can get seriously caught up in the crossfire.

Research has show that it is the behaviour of parents that causes the most harm to children during separation/divorce and not the separation/divorce itself.  Children can sometimes be used as pawns and this can be very damaging.

Apart from the situation being stressful on the parents it can also be very stressful on the children and they will try to please both parents.  If one parent criticise or “bad mouths” or attempts to downgrade the other parent the child internalises this criticism as against themselves.


Purchasing a property via online auction

We are in the age of the instant click and, like most other areas of life and commerce, the property selling business has caught up with the digital age.   IT systems have made the selling process quicker and in some cases simpler than before.  Even though buying a house or apartment is still considered a major investment, the care needed in ensuring you get what you think you are paying for should not be ignored.

Many online contracts contain a wide range of restrictive conditions, for example excluding warranties about planning, tenancies or even title.   Whereas in the old style private treaty system   prospective purchasers will generally request their solicitor to examine the conditions and any underlying risks and implications.  When property is sold via an online auction, the necessary checks and examinations of title may be missed.

It is important when an online sale is pending and you are interested in bidding that you ensure that the contract conditions and documents can be checked in good time.

At Colm Murphy & Co. we have seen examples of property being purchased online with tenants in occupation.  While the price may be attractive, if the purchaser needs the property for their own use the time and cost that may be incurred in securing vacant possession may be considerable.

While online auctions can be efficient and fast, look before you leap' is a motto worth remembering.

The Help to Buy Scheme for first time buyers

The Help to Buy Scheme (HTB) incentive which has been in operation since 2016 will be coming to an end on 31st December 2019.  Currently prospective purchasers can avail  a tax refund (Income Tax and DIRT) paid over the previous four years to first time buyers – up to 5% of the purchase price and a maximum of €20,000.  The following are criteria for eligibility after this date.

  1. Retrospective applicants:  all first time purchasers who have signed a contract, or, self-builds who have drawn down the first tranche of the mortgage between 19 July 2016 and 31 December 2019.
  2. First-time purchaser applicants:  contract to purchase a property signed between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2019.
  3. First-time self-build applicants:  self-builds who have drawn down the first tranche of the mortgage between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2019.

Thinking of buying and looking for a quote?  Contact us on 01-640-2714 or by clicking here

Use the following link to the Revenue website to access full details on this incentive:

Short-term letting: here’s what you need to know

As of 1 July 2019 planning permission is required for “short term lettings” unless they are exempt or permitted under an existing planning permission.

  1. 'Short term lettings' means properties that are rented for periods of 14 days or less.  The legislation does not apply to lettings of 14 days or longer.
  2. The legislation only applies to properties located in Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ's).
  3. Properties with existing planning permission for use as short term holiday accommodation will not be required to apply for planning permission for change of use.
  4. The legislation does not apply if planning permission has already been obtained for a short term lettings of the property
  5. The legislation does not apply where a landlord rents their PPR (Principal Private Residence) for less than 90 days in a year and this 90 day period is made up of blocks of 14 days or less

If you wish to rent the property out on a short-term basis for a period in excess of 90 days per annum then an application for 'change of use' planning permission will be necessary and it will be subject to the usual planning application time frames and fees.

Failure to obtain the relevant planning permission may result in a prosecution for unauthorised development.  If convicted in the District Court you may be liable for a fine of up to €5,000 or imprisonment of up to 6 months.  Where a person remains in breach (continues to rent the property out on a short-term basis with no relevant planning permission) additional fines may be imposed of €1,500 per day.

For more information contact us on 01-640-2714 or by clicking here




19 New Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ’s) locations introduced

19 New Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ’s) locations introduced today.  A rent pressure zone is a designated area where annual rent increases have been at 7% or more in four of the last six quarters.  Rent increases in all the RPZ's will be capped at 4% per annum and applies to new and existing tenancies unless an exemption is being applied.

As of 2 July 2019 the following locations have been identified as RPZ’s.

  • Cork:  Fermoy, Midleton
  • Galway:  Athenry-Oranmore, Gort-Kinvara
  • Kilkenny LEA
  • Laois:  Portlaoise, Graiguecullen – Portarlington
  • Limerick:  City West, City North
  • Louth:  Dundalk-Carlingford, Dundalk South, Ardee
  • Meath:  Kells, Trim
  • Waterford:  Waterford City South, Waterford City East
  • Westmeath:  Athlone
  • Wexford:  Gory
  • Wicklow:  Arklow

Tenants with an existing tenancy at the date of designation are still covered by the 24 month certainty laws which means that a landlord cannot serve a new rent review notice until 24 months have expired since the last notice was served.

We provide advice to both landlord and tenants and are available to assist you with your queries.  Contact us on 01-640-2714 or contact Carla by clicking here

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019

There has been a lot of conversation in recent times about the changes to the law relating to the residential rental sector. The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 was signed into law at the end of May with various changes to the current position being phased in over the coming months. As of the 4th June the following changes have been effected:

  1. New Notice of Termination obligations and Procedures
  2. New Notice periods required for terminating a tenancy
  3. Changes to Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) Exemptions
  4. New criteria in order to designate a PRZ
  5. Extension of RPZ’s until 31 December 2021
  6. Introduction of Remedial Notices
  7. Extension of rent certainty measures for property outside RPZ’s such that a rent review can only be carried out every 24 months until 31 December 2021.

Colm Murphy & Co. have extensive experience representing both landlords and tenants up to and including attendance at the Residential Tenancies Board.  If you are a landlord or tenant requiring advice contact us for a consultation on 01-640-2714 or   

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