Property and Conveyancing

If you’re considering buying or selling a property, all aspects of the purchase or sale should be absolutely clear to you before you sign contracts. Attention to detail is what distinguishes our services in property and conveyancing at Prospect Law. While hold ups are sometimes unavoidable, our experience and knowledge in this area will expedite your property transactions and minimise delays.

Sales

The first priority is to ensure that your title to the property is sound. Locating the title documents to enable Prospect Law to take up them up on your behalf is the first step. We will then ensure that the documents are in order, and, if not, take whatever steps are necessary to establish your ownership of the property.

The net proceeds you hope to get from the sale need to be discussed at an early stage, particularly if you’re planning to buy a property with this money. The cost of paying off the mortgage (if there is one) needs to be factored in. Ditto professional fees and any outlays owing, such as local property tax or management fees (in the case of serviced properties).

Extensions and alterations over the years require particular attention, in our experience. Issues such as rights of way, planning, ownership of service roads and laneways may need to be clarified; and we will advise as to whether declarations are needed from your architects as to previous developments.

Purchases

We recommend having the property surveyed by an experienced building surveyor as early as possible. The budget also needs to be discussed an early stage. This should include professional fees as well as stamp duty and outlay, to prevent unexpected shortfalls at the eleventh hour.

Our services at Prospect Law include:

  • reviewing the seller’s maps to establish the identity of the property
  • reviewing the title and planning documents
  • clarifying such issues as rights of way, ownership of service roads and laneways
  • advising as to whether further declarations are needed from your architects as to future relevant developments
  • reviewing and discussing the mortgage documents with you, to include;
    whether the mortgage exceeds the value of the property;
    whether there are outgoings on the property that remain to be paid.

Letting agreements, leases & licenses

Letting agreements and leases

Letting agreements and leases of all kinds require urgent and detailed attention. There is no such thing as a standard letting agreement or lease, and every clause requires careful review. There may also be omissions, which, if they go unnoticed, may be to your detriment. Whether you are a prospective landlord or a would be tenant, getting the tenancy agreement right is vital. If you’d like to clarify your rights, even under pressure, email us at: legal@prospectlaw.ie

Licenses

New forms of accommodation have developed in Ireland that require particular scrutiny. They often operate on a licensing agreement. What differentiates a lease from a licence is the concept of exclusive possession. As a tenant, you have the exclusive right to possess a property to the exclusion of all others, including the landlord, whereas as a licensee, you don’t. Whether or not occupants of student accommodation or co-living properties are parties to leases or licences may well be unclear, since simply labelling an arrangement a ‘licence’ doesn’t mean it is one. Each case is different.

A licensing agreement will not offer the security of either a traditional lease or a letting agreement, if it falls outside the Residential Tenancies Act. For example, The Act enforces a four per cent rent cap in ‘rent pressure zones’ and allows tenants to bring disputes to the Residential Tenancies Board. So, if you’re planning to live in a purpose built student development or co-living block, we would strongly advise you to take legal advice before you sign a contract. Giving us sight of yours will allow us to advise you in a timely way as to how far your rights are protected in law.

Purpose built student accommodation

Purpose built student accommodation has mushroomed in Ireland in recent years. Often offering shared living areas, it operated solely on a licensing system until recently. On 15 August 2019, the Residential Tenancies Act was extended to this kind of housing, but the amendment only applies to ‘student-specific’ accommodation. Some of these very new ‘apartment’ blocks, allegedly built for students, are already being rented out to tourists. This has implications for students’ legal rights. So, if you’re thinking of living in one of these developments, as a first step towards clarifying your tenancy, we will need to establish whether or not your accommodation is restricted to students. If not, you may find yourself outside the protection of the Residential Tenancies Act.

Co-living

Another, newer form developed by ‘vulture capitalists’ is ‘co-living’. Bartra Capital, which recently got planning permission to build the country’s first co-living development, claims the Residential Tenancies Act will not apply on the basis that residents will share living spaces. Residents, who are to be issued with licenses, may find themselves exempt from rental protections, and face year on year rent increases. As there are many different arrangements in place, each one needs to be assessed on its merits to see if it is covered by the Act. So, before entering into an agreement, we would strongly advise you contact us to see to determine your legal rights under the proposed arrangement.