The Work of Selling

If you have decided to sell a residential property, you can save yourself a great deal of heart-ache and delay by organising necessary paperwork well in advance.

It may come as some surprise to you to realise the amount of work which is required to be done by you, as a client, in compiling information which will be required by your solicitor in the conveyancing transaction.  With all the new taxes, charges and various pieces of legislation in the past few years, there has been a significant impact on the amount of information and documentation which is to be furnished on the sale of even the most modest of residential properties. 

Whether you are selling for a seven figure sum or a five figure sum, the information to be produced is the same. Therefore, if you are downsizing, upsizing, emigrating or selling an investment property (of which there are many now entering the market with the uplift in prices), you should be aware of the following categories of documents which you will need to assemble:-

  1. Taxes/Charges/Rates 
    A number of property-related taxes have been introduced over the past seven years, commencing with the Non-Principal Private Residence charge in 2009 and culminating with the Local Property Tax which came in in 2013. 

    If a property you are selling was at any time in the course of the years 2009 — 2013 a Non Principal Private Residence, evidence will need to be produced that the NPPR charge was paid in full.  A receipt or printout from your local authority is not sufficient.  A Certificate of Discharge will require to be furnished and this is a prerequisite in every conveyancing transaction. There are certain exemptions, and if the property qualifies for such, a Certificate of Exemption must be obtained.

    Local Property Tax was introduced initially by way of Household Charge for a transition year at a flat fee of €100 and then, as of 1 January 2013, has been based on 1% of the notional value fixed by Revenue per geographical location.  Due to the drop in property prices in the past number of years a number of properties have been undervalued and the Revenue recognises this and allows for undervalues of up to 50% depending on location.  In Dublin City it is currently up to 50% and in some parts of the country it goes to 15%.  If you have not paid your Local Property Tax you will need to pay it now with interest but in the event you have paid it, a printout confirming receipt by the Revenue is required.  As with NPPR, certain exemptions apply, and in those instances, a Certificate of Exemption will need to be produced.

  2. Water Rates
    This controversial rate has unfortunately crept into the conveyancing process and vendor’s solicitors are obliged now since 1 January 2016 to:-

    2.1 produce evidence that their client has registered the property with Irish Water; and

    2.2 produce receipts evidencing payment of charges up to date of closing.

    Therefore, if you have not paid your water charges and you wish to put a property on the market, it is important that:-

    a) you register with Irish Water, and

    b) water charges are brought up to date.

    If there is a tenant in occupation, it is the tenant’s liability to pay, but evidence has to be furnished in any event of (a) and (b).

  3. Septic Tank and Domestic Water Treatment System
    In rural areas, evidence will be required of registration of a septic tank and/or any domestic waste water treatment system not connected to mains (this was introduced in 2012).  There was a once-off flat fee of €5 for registration pre-2013, and that is now increased to €50. A Certificate of Registration can be obtained from Protect Our Water (not the same body as Irish Water).

  4. Building Energy Rating Certificate
    All properties require a BER Certificate before they can be put on the market.  Your auctioneer will require this as it needs to be available to potential bidders/purchasers.  This means that an architect or engineer who is duly registered as a BER certifier will need to attend upon your property, do an inspection and prepare a report. 

  5. Multi-Unit Developments Act 
    If, like many properties built during the past 15 years or so, your property is in a multi- unit development, whether it be an apartment or a house, it will now be governed by the Multi-Unit Developments Act which came into effect in 2011.  A purchaser’s solicitor will in all cases raise Multi-Unit Developments Act Requisitions on Title pre-Contract. This requires the input of the management company in relation to furnishing full information in relation to management of the development, payment of your service charges, furnishing of audited accounts and projected expenditure budgets.  A fee of approximately €250 to €300 is required to be paid to management companies to furnish this information and it is another added-on cost and requirement of residential sales in multi-unit developments.

  6. Tenants
    If the property is occupied by tenants, evidence of registration with the Private Residential Tenancies Board will be required, plus your original Residential Tenancy Agreement.

  7. NAMA
    There are now various detailed requisitions in relation to properties which may be affected by the National Assets Management Agency. Whilst your own property may not be directly affected by NAMA in that you may not be a NAMA debtor yourself, if your property is jointly owned with a party who is in NAMA or is located in a multi-unit development estate where the management company or original developer is in NAMA, there can be a number of questions that your solicitor will need to address in relation to NAMA’s interest, particularly in the common areas of the estate or development. 

  8. New Social Legislation
    The rights of spouses have been recognised in Ireland since 1976 in relation to consents to sales of properties, and the various matrimonial Acts from 1981 to 1996 (separation, divorce and related matters) have of course had an impact also.  However, in the last five years the introduction of the Civil Partners and Cohabitants legislation has broadened the scope for the requisite consents and the various rights and interests in properties.  If you own a property in your sole name but you are cohabiting or have a civil partner, that party’s consent may be required to a sale of the property, even if it is not your main residence together.  Also, of course, the Marriage Equality Act of 2015 brings same-sex married couples into the same arena as traditional spouses.

  9. Planning Permission & Building Regulations
    There have been a number of developments in planning legislation and whilst these are normally for developers to address, there is a possibility that if you are in a development which is unfinished or to which there have been changes or there are unpaid financial contributions by the developer, that your solicitor will require letters from the County Council or others to satisfy queries.

    Also, the introduction of the new Building Regulations in 2014 has a direct impact on any alterations or works done to a property since March 2014.  A Certificate of Compliance from an authorised architect or engineer would be required to confirm compliance with the new Building Regulations. 

  10. Environmental Legislation
    There is a raft of legislation varying from matters as diverse as tree preservation orders to architectural conservation and special amenity areas.  (Beware the natterjack toad!).

    Whilst it is less likely that your property would be affected by environmental legislation, particularly for investment properties built in the past 15 years, it is something which needs to be borne in mind. 

  11. Tax Incentive Schemes
    Many people purchased properties with the benefit of urban renewal relief and other tax incentivisation schemes over the years. Such schemes granted the original purchaser tax relief on rental income or purchase price for a period of up to ten years. If there is any term left over on such a scheme under which you might have purchased, or if there is any issue in relation to tax, evidence of compliance with the terms of the scheme may  be required.

  12. PPS Numbers
    Your PPS Number and that of your spouse/civil partner/other joint owner (if the property is jointly owned) will be required.  This is for stamp duty purposes (stamp duty is the purchaser’s liability).

  13. Mortgage Details
    You should have your lender details and mortgage account number if there is a mortgage on the property.

  14. Title Deeds
    The whereabouts of your title deeds need to be established.  If you purchased with the assistance of a mortgage, your title will most likely be held at the bank.  In that case your solicitor would need to write to the bank to get the title deeds with your signed authority.  Otherwise, if the deeds are held by yourself or elsewhere, they need to be available to the solicitor when drafting contracts.

Reddy Charlton will help you to prepare.

As you can see, the work in selling a residence does not stop at preparing the property for presentation to viewers.  There is in fact a great deal of document assembly required, much of which can be frustrating and tedious, but it is important to be aware of it so that there are no last-minute surprise requests which can result in delays and unnecessary stress.

Reddy Charlton have developed a detailed check-list for our clients which will guide you in assembling the necessary information

Una Gogarty

If you require further information on the above, please contact Una on

Keywords: Property, Publication

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