Ground rent on property
The 2 types of property ownership in Ireland are leasehold and freehold.
Owning the leasehold interest in a property means that you own just the building and not the land it is on and that your ownership is for a fixed number of years. If you own a leasehold property, you must pay a ground rent to your ground landlord - the person who owns the ground it is built on. The amount of ground rent paid varies. Often the ground landlord is the local authority.
Owning the freehold interest in a property means that you own the land and buildings (if any) outright. There is no period of years attached to the ownership and there is no ground rent to pay.
When you are buying or selling a property, any ground rent will be recorded on the previous deeds (if the property is registered with the Registry of Deeds) or on the folio (if the property is registered with the Land Registry). The Property Registration Authority (PRA) controls and manages both the Land Registry and the Registry of Deeds. Read more in our document on property deeds.
The PRA 's Ground Rents Purchase Scheme allows leasehold owners to buy out their ground rent and become outright owners of their property.
In some circumstances it is not possible to buy out ground rents, if, for instance, it is not in the public interest, or if there is a specific clause in a lease preventing it, but these instances are rare.
Buying out your ground rent
A person who is buying a property may be able to buy out the ground rent once the purchase of the property has been concluded. You can buy it either privately or through the Ground Rents Purchase Scheme.
The amount to be paid when buying out the ground rent can either be agreed between you and the ground landlord (consent procedure) or else obtained through an arbitration procedure. The amount of ground rent is set by the arbitration procedure if you are buying it out under the Ground Rents Purchase Scheme and cannot agree the amount with the ground landlord. The PRA will do all the legal work for a fee. It is more expensive if an arbitrator is involved - see 'Rates' below.
If you buy out your ground rent, whether from a private landlord or a local authority, the PRA will issue a Vesting Certificate. The Vesting Certificate is a new title deed to your property. As such, it is a very important document. You are strongly advised to have it registered with the Land Registry or the Registry of Deeds, as appropriate, to record the fact that your ownership of the property has changed from leasehold to freehold.
If you are buying out your ground rent through consent, the fee is €30 for residential owners and €65 for non-residential owners.
If you are buying it out through the arbitration procedure, the fee is €105 for residential owners and €195 for non-residential owners.
Where to apply