Written Answers. - Ground Rents.

Richard Bruton


112 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Justice if her attention has been drawn to the fact that in the case of ground leases with less than 15 years to run, massive purchase prices can be set by the Land Registry of up to one-eight of the value of the house; and the advice, if any, she can give to a person who is unemployed and of advanced years who has been informed of a required purchase price beyond her capacity to pay. [2350/94]

The Deputy will appreciate that it would not be appropriate for me to offer legal advide in a particular case and that a person's own legal adviser with all the facts at his or her disposal would be best placed to advise on the options available in a particular case.

I can inform the Deputy, however, that the determination of the purchase price of ground rents by arbitration by the Land Registry is governed by section 7 of the Landlord and Tenant Act, 1984. Under that section a distinction is made between leases which have more or less than 15 years to run and that generally where the lease has less than 15 years to run the price payable is at its highest reflecting the increasing potential pecuniary interest of the landlord in the property. I am informed that the intention of the provision was to have due regard for the property rights of both ground rent landlord and ground rent tenant within the context of constitutional requirements.