Five Things to Know when Buying a Pre’63 Investment Property

Five Things to Know when Buying a Pre’63 Investment Property

The Essential Guide

Five Things to Know when Buying a Pre’63 Investment Property

 

1. First – What is a Pre ‘63 Investment Property?  

A pre ‘63 is a property that has been divided into units prior to the coming into force of the Planning & Development Act of 1963.  As such the owner of such a property does not need to meet with current planning and building regulations.  The benefits of these properties are that they are high density and accordingly high yielding properties.  

Pre’63 Investment Property Declaration must be strong –

The basis of a good pre ’63 title is the declarations with title from the various owners of the property back through the years who confirm that the property has being held in a specific number of units dating back to pre 1963.  The best would be to have Declarations from each owner from the present date to prior to 1963.  In some instances, however a property could have been owned for thirty years and the vendor may have deceased and a third party is swearing a Declaration to say that the vendor had used the property prior to 1963 in units.  

Whilst the declarations are important to evidence the use of the property it is always our advice to also obtain any extrinsic evidence you can to satisfy the Local Authority should they make an enquiry that the property has been converted prior to the 1963 and also to confirm the number of units that it has been converted to.  

One of the most basic things you can do is to take numerous photos of the properties when you acquire it to show the layout of same, especially if you are going to undertake refurbishment works to the property.   Other evidence can be the number of doorbells on the front of the property, this is particularly the case in the old Georgian buildings in Dublin City Centre which shows that the property had been divided into separate units.  The date of installation of separate electricity meters for the property is also an effective method of evidencing when the units obtained separate electricity supply and was accepted by the Local Authority as sufficient evidence to confirm the propertys’ status as a pre-63.

2. Pre’63 Investment Property Declarations can be challenged

The declaration re use means that the local authority cannot request that you put the property back to the way it was prior to when it was sub divided.  However any person can still make a complaint to the enforcement section of the planning office in respect of the property.  We had a situation where our Client was carrying out a refurbishment of a property and a neighbour unhappy with the noise of the works perhaps made a compliant to allege our Clients were sub dividing the property when our Clients were merely refurbishing same.  The neighbour alleged that the property had never been in units previously but happily our Client was armed with the photos of when they acquired the property and the extrinsic evidence above and was able to satisfy the Council that the property had been converted since prior to the inception of the planning acts.

3. Pre’63 Investment Property Declarations – Multiple means TWO!

There was a time where Declarations were being provided to state that the property had “multiple use”.  Some less than wholesome owners went on to further subdivide the property and tried to mask this sub division presenting the previous “multiple use” declaration.  Upon a challenge from a neighbour the Local Authorities determined that where there was a difference of evidence between two parties and the only evidence held by the property owner was that a “multiple use” declaration that the Council would read such declarations as meaning that the property was held in two units in the property unless evidence can be provided to the contrary.  Therefore we would always advise that the number of units be specifically set out in the declarations on title.

4. Pre’63 Investment Property and NPPR

NPPR stands for Non-Principal Private Residence tax and was in place from the years 2009 to 2013 for properties that you did not reside in.   It is important when you are buying a multi-unit property that you ensure you obtain an NPPR for each unit in the property.  Often vendors have interpreted the legislation to state that they only need to pay NPPR for the house as a whole.  This is not the case and the legislation stipulates that if the unit is self-contained then NPPR applies.  Given that the liability for your failure to pay NPPR rests at €7,230.00 per unit the liability can be significant for these types of properties.  As such you need to ensure that your Solicitor acquires an NPPR Certificate of Discharge for each unit in the property to cover all liability years.

This is also the case for Local Property Tax in that each unit in the property should have its own LPT property ID and payment history.

5. Pre’63 Investment Property Standards

As set out above the property does not have to comply with current building regulations and or planning requirements.  However, that does not mean that the property can fall into disrepair.  These properties are rental properties and therefore must continue to abide by the minimum Standards for Housing Regulations https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/private-rented-housing/inspections/minimum-standards-rented-accommodation.   Furthermore if one undertakes a significant refurbishment of these units these works must comply with current building regulations and more importantly Fire safety requirements.  To carry out works in the absence of a Fire Safety certificate can result in a criminal conviction.  Accordingly if you are acquiring the property and same is in need of substantial upgrading you need to ensure that you take expert advices from a fire safety consultant as to your potential exposure to costs in rendering the property compliant from a fire safety perspective. 

Ethna Ryan

Ethna Ryan

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Ethna Ryan

Ethna Ryan

Solicitor

Ethna is also well versed in Landlord and Tenant law acting for both Landlords and Tenant in the negotiation of leases and advising on the parties respective rights.

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