Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Questions (116)

Clare Daly


116. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide an exemption from the non-principal private residence charge for properties with pyrite; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28702/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009, as amended, broadened the revenue base of local authorities by introducing a charge on non-principal private residences. The Non- Principal Private Residence (NPPR) Charge is set at €200 and liability for it falls, in the main, on owners of rental, holiday and vacant or additional properties that are not an individual’s principal private residence. The NPPR Charge, which has since been discontinued, applied in the years 2009 to 2013 to any residential property in which the owner did not reside as their normal place of residence. It is a matter for an owner to determine if he or she has a liability and, if so, to declare that liability and pay the Charge and any late payment fees applicable.

Under the 2009 Act “residential property” is defined as a “…building that is situated in the State and that is occupied, or suitable for occupation, as a separate dwelling.” There are a number of indicators as to what makes a property suitable for occupation for the purposes of determining liability to the Charge. The indicators include the structure of the property, whether or not it has a roof, whether or not it is so affected by dampness as to render it unsuitable for habitation, and whether or not it has sanitary facilities, including a water closet and water supply. Under the 2009 Act, there is no specific exemption for residential properties affected by pyrite. A property that is not suitable for occupation should not be regarded as a residential property within the meaning of the 2009 Act and would not therefore be liable for the Charge.

It is a function of a local authority to collect non-principal private residence charges and late payment fees due to it, and all charges and late payment fees imposed and payable to a local authority are under the care and management of the local authority concerned. In this regard, application of the legislation in particular circumstances is a matter for the relevant local authority.