Ground rent on property
What is ground rent?
There are 2 types of property ownership in Ireland:
If you own the leasehold interest in a property, it means that you own the building and not the land it is on. It also means 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. This is the person who owns the ground your property is built on. Often the ground landlord is your local authority.
If you own the freehold interest in a property, it means that you own the land and buildings. Your ownership is not limited to a fixed number of years and you do not have to pay ground rent.
Buying or selling a property with ground rent
When you buy or sell a property, any ground rent will be recorded on the:
- Previous deeds, if the property is registered with the Registry of Deeds
- Folio, if the property is registered with the Land Registry
Can I buy out my ground rent?
If you are buying a property, you may be able to buy out the ground rent once you’ve bought the property. This will make you the outright owner of your property. You can buy the ground rent privately or using the Ground Rents Purchase Scheme.
The amount you pay to buy out the ground rent can be:
- Agreed with your ground landlord (consent procedure)
- Reached through an arbitration procedure
If you are buying your ground rent out under the Ground Rents Purchase Scheme, you must use the arbitration procedure to set the amount you pay. You cannot agree the amount with the ground landlord. Tailte Éireann will do all the legal work for a fee.
If you buy out your ground rent, Tailte Éireann will issue a Vesting Certificate. The Vesting Certificate is a new title deed to your property. You should register this with the Land Registry, to record that your ownership of the property has changed from leasehold to freehold.
In some circumstances it is not possible to buy out your ground rent. For example, if it is not in the public interest, or if there is a specific clause in a lease that prevents it. However, this is rare.
How much will it cost?
You will have to pay the landlord the agreed price for the freehold title for the land. This price can be agreed with your landlord, or by using an arbitration procedure.
You will also have to pay an application fee. This fee is different if you agree the price with your landlord or use the arbitration procedure.
If you are buying out your ground rent through consent, the application fee is:
- €30 if you live in the property
- €65 if you don’t live in the property
If you are buying it out using the arbitration procedure, the application fee is:
- €105 if you live in the property
- €195 if you don’t live in the property
You will also be charged €40 to register your Vesting Certificate with Land Registry.