The Property Registration Authority administers a scheme under which owners of leasehold property can purchase their Ground Rent and enlarge their interest into a freehold. (A leasehold interest is for a fixed term of years and subject to a rent whereas freehold has the capacity to last forever.)
The Landlord and Tenant (Ground Rents)(No 2) Act 1978 which came into operation on 1st July 1978 provided a new method for the purchase of ground rents on dwellinghouses. Under the 1967 Act the purchase was a matter for the parties themselves to arrange and any difficulty or dispute arising was referable to the County Registrar, whose award was appealable to the Circuit Court. The purchaser was liable for the landlord's costs of the transaction. The approach adopted by the 1978 (No 2) Act is, that for a prescribed fee, the Property Registration Authority undertake to do the legal work of completion of the purchase of the fee simple and the Property Registration Authority was entrusted with the administration of the new scheme instead of the County Registrar.
The Property Registration Authority (PRA) is empowered to vest the fee simple in tenants of dwellinghouses, provided an application is duly made in accordance with Part III of the Act. The fee simple is vested by way of a vesting certificate which operates as a conveyance of the fee simple and of any intermediate interests, free from encumbrances. Since the scheme was introduced in 1978, over 80,000 applicants have availed of the service and have acquired a freehold title to their property.