Ground Rents – Guidelines for Ground Rents Purchase Scheme

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Note – This information is designed to assist in the use of the ground rents purchase scheme. It is not a legal document and does not represent, in any way, an interpretation of the law relating to the purchase of ground rents.

Who can apply?

The owners of dwellings which are built wholly or principally as dwellinghouses; this does not include dwellings converted into flats.

What about Local Authority houses?

Owners of local authority housing can buy out their ground rents but they do not come under this scheme; they should get in touch with their local authority.

How do I apply?

By CONSENT PROCEDURE (see below), if you can contact your landlord/s and agree a purchase price for the Freehold Title. Once you have paid the purchase price to the landlord/s, he/they will complete a Consent Form/s. The onus of obtaining all of the necessary Consents lies with you as the applicant. If consent is not forthcoming, or if the identity of your Landlord/s is/are unknown, you may apply by ARBITRATION PROCEDURE (see below). Under Arbitration procedure a purchase price for the Freehold Title will be set by this office some time after the application has been lodged. You will be notified of the amount involved and requested to lodge the money in this office.

What do I get for my money?

You will receive a Vesting Certificate when your application has been completed. The Vesting Certificate is evidence that you have bought out your ground rents. IT IS A NEW TITLE DEED TO YOUR PROPERTY AND, AS SUCH, IT IS A VERY IMPORTANT DOCUMENT.

What do I do with the Vesting Certificate?

You are strongly advised to have your Vesting Certificate registered. Registration of the Vesting Certificate will mean that a permanent registry record of your freehold interest is available in the event of the document being lost or destroyed.

Where and how do I register?

This will depend on where your existing title deeds are registered and the date your Vesting Certificate issued. From 1 June 2011, compulsory registration in the Land Registry is extended to all counties (S.I. 516 of 2010) and all Vesting certificates issued on or after that date must be registered in the Land Registry. Previously compulsory registration dates varied according to county as follows:

1st January 1970 – Carlow, Meath & Laois, 1st April 2006 – Longford, Roscommon & Westmeath, 1st October 2008 – Clare, Kilkenny, Louth, Sligo, Wexford & Wicklow,

1st January 2010 – Cavan, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Leitrim, Limerick, Mayo, Monaghan, Offaly,Tipperary & Waterford With your Vesting Certificate, you will receive more detailed information on registration.

Note – You will be charged a separate fee for registration. The Registration Fee in the Land Registry is €40.

Additional Information on CONSENT APPLICATIONS

There are two Forms to be completed when applying for a Vesting Certificate under Consent procedure; these are Forms A and Form C.

  • Form A is the application Form to be completed and signed by the owner/tenant of the premises. If you hold the premises jointly with a spouse or other relatives, Form A should also include their name/s and signature/s.
  • Form C is the Consent Form to be completed by your Landlord/s when you have paid to him/them the purchase price for the freehold title.

Note – If there is more than one Landlord involved, it will be necessary to obtain a completed Consent Form from each Landlord. If you are unable to obtain a completed Consent Form from one or more of the Landlords you may buy out your ground rents through Arbitration procedure. Arbitration procedure requires that you lodge the purchase price for the Freehold Title with this office rather than paying it directly to the Landlord.

The onus of obtaining all of the necessary Consents rests with you as the applicant.

Your Consent application should consist of the following items:

1.      Completed Form A

2.      Completed Form/s C

3.      A photocopy of your LEASE

4.      A photocopy of your ASSIGNMENT (This document is required if you are not the original owner of the house; it is evidence of your ownership).

5.      Application fee of €30 if you reside at the premises or €65 otherwise (Payment by cheque, postal order, bank draft or cash will be accepted; cheques, etc, should be made payable to “Property Registration Authority”.)

To guard against fraud, the Property Registration Authority (the PRA) needs to confirm the identity of anyone, (other than a practising solicitor acting for a third party client, financial institution, etc), making any application to the Land Registry, including a ground rents application.

Since the 1st of February 2013 all personal applicants are required to complete a ‘Personal Applicant’s Identification Form (ID Form)’. If a joint application is being made each party must complete a separate form and produce evidence of their identity.

This form can found in the Forms Section of our website www.prai.ie.

Alternatively you can contact the Ground Rents section of the Property Registration Authority (PRA) at groundrents@prai.ie and we can arrange to send a form by post.

Note –  Items 3 and 4 are two of the title deeds to your property. If you have a mortgage you may find that copies of the deeds are available from your Bank or Building Society. If your mortgage has been repaid in full, the deeds may be held by your solicitor.

Additional Information on ARBITRATION APPLICATIONS

There are two Forms to be completed when applying for a Vesting Certificate under Arbitration procedure; these are Forms B and Form D.

Form B is the application Form to be completed and signed by the owner/tenant of the premises. If you hold the premises jointly with a spouse or other relatives, Form B should also include their name/s and signature/s.

Form D is the Notice of your Intention to buy out the ground rents under Arbitration procedure. Form D should be sent, by REGISTERED POST to your Landlord (or his Agent/Solicitor).

Note – It is important that you retain a PHOTOCOPY of your completed and signed Form D AND a receipt for registered post as these items will form part of your application.

You may hand the completed Form D to your Landlord instead of sending it by registered post; but if you do so, you must ask him/them for a letter acknowledging receipt of the Form D.

21 Days after you have served Form D you may lodge your application which should include the following items:

  1. Completed and signed Form B
  2. Photocopy of completed Form D
  3. Receipt for registered post, or letter from your Landlord acknowledging receipt of same
  4. Your latest ground rent receipt
  5. A photocopy of your Lease
  6. A photocopy of your Assignment (This document is required if you are not the original owner of the property; it is evidence of your ownership).
  7. €105 application fee if you reside at the premises or €195 otherwise.
    (Payment by cheque, postal order, bank draft or cash will be accepted; cheques, etc. should be made payable to “Property Registration Authority”.

To guard against fraud, the Property Registration Authority (the PRA) needs to confirm the identity of anyone, (other than a practising solicitor acting for a third party client, financial institution, etc), making any application to the Land Registry, including a ground rents application.

Since the 1st of February 2013 all personal applicants are required to complete a ‘Personal Applicant’s Identification Form (ID Form)’. If a joint application is being made each party must complete a separate form and produce evidence of their identity.

This form can found in the Forms section of our website www.prai.ie. Alternatively you can contact the Ground Rents section of the Property Registration Authority (PRA) at groundrents@prai.ie and we can arrange to send a form by post.

Note – (Items 5 and 6 are two of the title deeds to your property. If you have a mortgage you may find that copies of the deeds are available from your Bank or Building Society. If your mortgage has been repaid in full, the deeds may be held by your solicitor.

Applications may be delivered in person or posted to:

PROPERTY REGISTRATION AUTHORITY

GROUND RENTS SECTION

CHANCERY STREET

DUBLIN 7

Public Hours are from 10.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.