Tuesday, 25 March 2014
Department of Finance
Property Taxation Application
185. To ask the Minister for Finance if the owner of a house, which has been declared uninhabitable by an engineer and is the subject of a dispute in the High Court between the owner and the builder, is not obliged to pay the local property tax until the case is resolved in the High Court or the house is habitable again. [13734/14]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 185 and 251 together.
Based on the information supplied by the Deputies it is not possible to give definitive replies in relation to the specific cases. However, the following general information may be useful.
For Local Property Tax (LPT) purposes a residential property is defined as any building or structure (or part of a building) which is used as, or is suitable for use as, a dwelling. If a residential property is suitable for use as a dwelling but is unoccupied, it is still liable to LPT based on the valuation of the property. However, if the property is not suitable for use as a dwelling, it is not liable for LPT.
LPT is a self-assessed tax. I am advised that if a property owner considers that her or his property is not suitable for use as a dwelling, s/he should notify the Revenue Commissioners without delay and arrange to provide relevant supporting documentation for example, photographic evidence, or a report from a suitably qualified person such as a surveyor or an engineer. Based on the information provided by the property owner, Revenue will consider the claim and make a decision on the matter.
Each case will be considered on its merits and it is therefore not possible to provide a prescriptive list of criteria that would need to be met for a property to be deemed unsuitable for use as a dwelling. However, a property owner should consider whether the property is habitable by reference to the structure of the building; including whether the property has a roof, windows and doors, sanitary facilities, and services. Water or electricity supply turned off or temporarily disconnected would not necessarily mean that a residential property is uninhabitable.
In the context of Question , the fact that a residential property is the subject of a dispute in the High Court between the owner and the builder would not remove the obligation on the owner to pay LPT.
Finally, a property that was not liable to LPT on 1 May 2013 on the basis that it was unsuitable for use as a dwelling will not be liable to LPT for the years 2013 to 2016. If such a property were to be refurbished to make it suitable for use as a dwelling by 1 November 2016 then it will be liable to LPT for 2017 and subsequent years.