The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009 introduced a €200 annual charge on Non Principal Private Residences, payable by the owners to the Local Authority in whose area the property concerned is located. The Charge on Non Principal Private Residence (NPPR) has, since its introduction, raised over €200 million in revenue for Local Authorities. The liability date for payment of this charge for 2012 was March 31st, 2012. In order to avoid incurring late payment fees, payment must be made by June 30th, 2012. Where the charge remains outstanding on a property or properties by July 1st, 2012, late payment of €20.00 per month or part thereof will then apply to each NPPR property involved. Owners of NPPR should note that there is no obligation on Local Authorities to issue notifications or invoices; it is a matter for persons with a liability to pay on time before June 30th next.
Since the introduction of the Charge, problems have arisen for many property owners. Owners of small shops, businesses and pubs have been shocked to discover that they owe large sums due to non-payment of the NPPR charge on their properties. The sums due relate to the accumulation of interest and penatlies on the unpaid charge. Some persons misunderstood that where they did not have to pay Rates, they were not obliged to pay the NPPR charge. For some owners of Property, access to properties owned by them is through their pubs or shops. There is not any separate access to such properties and, in many cases, such properties are not habitable nor can the owners afford to furbish them in order to rent them. Given this difficulty, it would seem that such owners must apply to their Local Authority for an exemption of the requirement to pay the NPPR charge in respect of such premises on the basis that said properties are not habitable and do not enjoy independent access. Minister Phil Hogan has stated that such difficulties will not be resolved until 2013 when it is anticipated that there will be a fully fledged property tax regime in force. Up until then, such problems will have to be addressed by Local Authorities with responsibility for the area in which the properties exist. Property owners should note that, unless granted an exemption from payment of the NPPR charge, the charge remains due and penalties and interest will accrue unless discharge on time.
Commercial and Resdential Property Department,
Healy O’ Connor, Solicitors
Cork and Dublin.