We at D’Arcy & Co, Solicitors, Kildare have a wealth of experience in Property and Conveyancing.
All Property cases are dealt with by Paul D’Arcy, a solicitor with over twenty years of Conveyancing experience.
Common issues in brief
Changes to Help to Buy (HTB)
As part of the Government July Job Stimulus, the maximum amount of relief under the Help to Buy scheme has been temporarily increased to whichever is the lesser of €30,000 (up from €20,000) or 10% of the purchase price (up from 5%). This temporary measure is due to end on the 31st of December 2020. Purchasers should check to see if they qualify by contacting Revenue.
How does payment of money work in a typical (non auction) house purchase:-
The first amount of money is the booking deposit. You pay this to the auctioneer. The amount is often €5,000 and, payment does not make you legally bound to purchase.
The second payment is 10% (usually 5% if you qualify for Help to Buy scheme) of the price less the sum paid at 1 above. You pay this through solicitor when signing contract. It is best to think of that as legally binding.
The next payment is the remaining 90% plus solicitors costs and stamp duty (normally 1%). This completes your purchase and gets you the key.
If you are purchasing property, you should consider the following issues:-
- Help to Buy Scheme
The Help to Buy (HTB) Scheme is designed to assist first-time buyers of newly built homes with their required deposit. It also applies to once-off self-build homes.
The Help to buy Scheme provides for a refund of income tax and Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) paid over the previous 4 tax years.
- Formal Loan Offer
If you are using a mortgage in relation to your purchase, then you will need to have your bank issue a Formal Letter of Offer in relation to property to your solicitor.
Under new rules lenders will now have to revalue the property before drawdown where two months have elapsed since the first valuation. This could result in a reduction in the loan.
- Structural Survey
If you are purchasing a second-hand property, then the principle of “let the buyer beware” will apply to the physical condition of the property. For this reason, you should have a structural survey of the property carried out before signing contracts.
- Stamp Duty
The present Stamp Duty rate for residential property is 1% for a purchase price of less than €1 million.
- Building Energy Rating (BER)
Purchasers must be receive a Building Energy Rating (BER) from a registered assessor for the property they are purchasing. This is usually available from the auctioneer
- Co-ownership Agreements
In the case of a joint purchase by unmarried persons, consideration should be given to a Co-ownership Agreement setting out arrangements in the case of split.
- Issues with Items to be left or taken
Please be warned the legal system relating to house purchases is primarily about the actual purchase of the house and the issue of contents is treated as a much smaller issue. Disagreements and crossed wires are common and often legal remedies are not cost effective. So the best attitude to have is that it is up to you to check that every item that should be left is left and every item that should be taken is taken. Dissatisfaction on these issues after completion is often impossible to solve legally.
Do special considerations and difficulties arise for a purchaser where a sale is a distressed sale or a sale by a receiver?
It is often the case that special difficulties arise in the case of such purchases. This is because of a number of factors including – 1. Lack of knowledge and willingness on the part of a receiver or distressed vendor in relation to answering questions about to the property in sale and/or taking responsibility for issues in relation to the property. This can especially cause difficulties where the purchaser is getting a mortgage loan. 2. Receiver contracts and especially receiver contracts in auctions of distressed properties can often include terms that are exceptionally unfair to purchasers regarding issues such as the right to rescind on the part of the vendor and that leave purchasers with much less rights than they might expect. 3. Special difficulties caused by negative equity which means that the clearing of the mortgage can involve complicated correspondence regarding deductions allowed by the owners of the mortgage over the property in sale.