Written answers

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Ground Rents Abolition

9:00 pm

Liz O'Donnell (Dublin South, Progressive Democrats)
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Question 144: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if there are plans to reform or abolish residential ground rents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11952/07]

Photo of Michael McDowellMichael McDowell (Dublin South East, Progressive Democrats)
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The law already provides for a statutory scheme for the acquisition of the fee simple in dwelling houses which is set out in the Landlord and Tenant (Ground Rents) (No. 2) Act 1978. Part III of that Act provides a special procedure, operated by the Property Registration Authority, whereby a person may acquire the fee simple in their dwelling house.

A legal challenge to the constitutionality of certain provisions of existing ground rents legislation was heard in the High Court during 2005. The court's judgment upholding the constitutionality of the legislation was delivered in early 2006 but this has now been appealed to the Supreme Court and it is likely that the appeal will be heard later this year. Any proposals for further reform of ground rents legislation leading to the abolition of ground rents would need to take into account the outcome of the case before the Supreme Court.


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