Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011

19.

Amendments of Act of 2009.

19.— (1) The Act of 2009 is amended—

( a) in section 1—

(i) by inserting the following definitions:

“‘Act of 2003’ means the Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Act 2003;

‘administrative area’ has the meaning assigned to it by the Act of 2001;”,

(ii) by substituting the following definition for the definition of “building”:

“‘building’ includes—

( a) part of a building, and

( b) a structure or erection of any kind and of any materials, or any part of that structure or erection, but excludes a structure that is not permanently attached to the ground, a vessel and a vehicle (whether mobile or not);”,

(iii) by inserting the following definition:

“‘certificate of exemption’ has the meaning assigned to it by section 8(1);”,

(iv) by deleting the definition of “dwelling”,

(v) by inserting the following definition:

“‘enactment’ has the same meaning that it has in the Interpretation Act 2005;”,

(vi) by inserting the following definitions:

“‘functional area’ means—

( a) in relation to a city council, the administrative area of that city council,

( b) in relation to a county council—

(i) the administrative area of that county council, and

(ii) the administrative area of any town council (within the meaning of the Local Government Act 2001) situated within the administrative area of that county council;

‘late payment fee’ has the meaning assigned to it by section 6(1);”,

(vii) by substituting the following definition for the definition of “owner”:

“‘owner’, in relation to a residential property, means—

( a) a person (other than a mortgagee not in possession) who—

(i) in the case of a residential property that is let under a lease or held under a tenancy for a term not exceeding 20 years, is entitled to receive the rent under that lease or tenancy, whether in his or her own right or as trustee or agent for another person, or

(ii) in the case of a residential property that is not so let or so held, would, subject to paragraph ( b), be so entitled if the residential property were so let or so held, whether in that person’s own right or as trustee or agent for another person,

or

( b) where the property is let under a lease or held under a tenancy for a term exceeding 20 years, the person (other than a mortgagee not in possession) who is the lessee under that lease or the tenant under that tenancy;”,

and

(viii) by substituting the following definition for the definition of “relevant local authority”:

“‘relevant local authority’ means—

( a) in relation to a residential property wholly situated in the functional area of a city council, that city council,

( b) in relation to a residential property wholly situated in the functional area of a county council, that county council, and

( c) in relation to a residential property situated partly in the functional area of a county council and partly in the functional area of another county council or a city council, the local authority in whose functional area the greater part of the residential property, by area, is situated.”,

( b) by substituting the following section for section 2:

Meaning of residential property.

2.—(1) In this Act ‘residential property’ means, subject to subsection (2), a building that is situated in the State and that is occupied, or suitable for occupation, as a separate dwelling, whether or not the occupier shares, or would be entitled to share, in connection therewith, any accommodation, amenity or facility with any other person, and includes—

( a) a house, maisonette, flat or apartment (including the form of accommodation commonly known as a bedsit), and

( b) a building containing a bedroom to which paragraph ( e) of subsection (2) applies.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, none of the following is a residential property:

( a) a building—

(i) from which no income has been derived since the building’s construction,

(ii) that, since the building’s construction, has never been used as a dwelling, and

(iii) that forms part of the trading stock of a business;

( b) a building vested in a Minister of the Government, a housing authority (within the meaning of the Act of 1992) or the Health Service Executive;

( c) a building owned by a body standing approved for the purposes of section 6 of the Act of 1992;

( d) a building that—

(i) is wholly used as a dwelling (other than a dwelling that forms part of a mixed hereditament within the meaning of the Local Government (Financial Provisions) Act 1978), and

(ii) in respect of which local authority rates are payable;

( e) a bedroom that is let under a letting arrangement whereby the occupier of the bedroom is entitled to share with any other individual any other accommodation, amenity or facility in the building of which the bedroom forms part;

( f) an approved building within the meaning of section 482 of the Act of 1997.

(3) In this section ‘business’ includes—

( a) the business of a company to which—

(i) an examiner, liquidator or receiver has been appointed under the Companies Acts,

(ii) a statutory receiver has been appointed under the National Asset Management Agency Act 2009, or

(iii) a receiver has been appointed under any other enactment,

and

( b) the business of an individual—

(i) who is a bankrupt or an arranging debtor within the meaning of the Bankruptcy Act 1988, all or part of whose property vests in a receiver, manager or the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy in accordance with that Act, or

(ii) where, in respect of all or part of the trading stock of the business, a statutory receiver has been appointed under the National Asset Management Agency Act 2009.”,

( c) in section 3—

(i) by substituting the following subsections for subsections (5) and (6):

“(5) The Minister may from time to time review the sum specified in accordance with this section and, having regard to any change in the consumer price index—

( a) since the commencement of this section, or

( b) where a sum stands prescribed for the time being under this subsection, since the date on which that sum was prescribed,

prescribe such sum for the purposes of subsection (2) as the Minister considers appropriate, and a sum so prescribed shall stand specified in accordance with this section from the liability date immediately following the date on which the sum is so prescribed.

(6) In this section ‘change in the consumer price index’ means the difference between—

( a) the All Items Consumer Price Index number last published by the Central Statistics Office before—

(i) the commencement of this section, or

(ii) where a sum stands prescribed for the time being under subsection (5), the date on which that sum was prescribed,

and

( b) the All Items Consumer Price Index number most recently published by the Central Statistics Office since such commencement or the prescribing of that sum, as the case may be,

expressed as a percentage of the first-mentioned number.”,

and

(ii) by inserting the following subsection after subsection (7):

“(8) In this section ‘prescribe’ means prescribe by order.”,

( d) in paragraph ( b) of subsection (1) of section 4, by substituting “being an approved body within the meaning of section 848A (inserted by section 45 of the Finance Act 2001) of the Act of 1997.” for “being a trust or body corporate which is approved as an eligible charity in accordance with Part 3 of Schedule 26A of the Act of 1997.”,

( e) by substituting the following subsection for subsection (5) of section 4:

“(5) If—

( a) an individual who is the owner of a residential property is not residing in that property on a liability date by reason of his or her having had to vacate the property due to long term mental or physical infirmity,

( b) immediately before the date on which the individual so vacated that residential property, the residential property was his or her sole or main residence, and

( c) the individual is residing in a property of which he or she is not the owner,

he or she shall not be liable to pay the charge for the year in which that liability date falls in respect of that residential property.”,

( f) by inserting the following subsections after subsection (6) of section 4:

“(7) Where a person who is the sole owner of a residential property dies, the personal representative of the deceased person shall not, in respect of that residential property, be liable to pay the charge relating to a year in which the liability date falls after the date of death of the deceased person and before the date of issue of a grant of representation to the estate of the deceased person.

(8) In this section ‘long term mental or physical infirmity’ means an infirmity suffered by a person—

( a) certified by a registered medical practitioner, and

( b) which required the person to vacate, for a continuous period of more than 12 months, the property in which he or she had been dwelling.”,

( g) by substituting the following subsections for subsections (1) and (2) of section 5:

“(1) The owner of a residential property who, on a liability date, is liable to pay a charge to a relevant local authority in respect of the year in which that liability date falls, shall make and provide to the relevant local authority a declaration stating that he or she is so liable.

(2) A declaration referred to in subsection (1) shall—

( a) be in such form and contain such information as may be prescribed,

( b) be provided to the relevant local authority before the expiration of such period as may be prescribed, and

( c) be accompanied by payment, effected in accordance with subsection (3), of the charge in respect of the residential property concerned.”,

( h) by substituting the following subsections for subsection (4) of section 5:

“(4) The Minister may from time to time prescribe a fee for the payment of a charge by a person attending at the offices of a relevant local authority providing such payment services, which fee shall not exceed the reasonable cost of providing such services, and that person shall pay such fee to the relevant local authority with the said charge.

(5) A person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a class C fine.

(6) A person who, in purported compliance with subsection (1) or (2), provides information to a relevant local authority that is false or misleading in a material respect shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a class C fine.

(7) A person who is convicted of an offence under this section shall, on each day on which the contravention of which that offence consists is continued by the person after his or her having been so convicted, be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €100.”,

( i) by substituting the following section for section 6:

“Late payment fee.

6.— (1) The owner of a residential property who fails to pay a charge in accordance with this Act shall, subject to subsection (3), in addition to his or her being liable to pay the said charge, be liable to pay to the relevant local authority the sum of €20 (in this Act referred to as a ‘late payment fee’) in respect of each month or part of a month in which—

( a) such charge,

( b) any such late payment fee, or

( c) any part of such charge or fee,

remains unpaid.

(2) Payment of a late payment fee shall be made by such means as may be prescribed.

(3) Where a person who is the sole owner of a residential property dies and, at the date of his or her death, a charge, a late payment fee or any part of such charge or fee remains unpaid in relation to that property, no further late payment fee shall be payable in accordance with subsection (1) in relation to that property until a grant of representation to the estate of the deceased person issues to the personal representative of such deceased person.

(4) The personal representative of such deceased person shall, as soon as a grant of representation to the estate of the deceased person issues to him or her, be liable to pay to the relevant local authority the full amount due and owing by the deceased, at the date of his or her death, in respect of a charge and each related late payment fee, which said full amount is, in this section, referred to as the ‘full amount’.

(5) If the said full amount is paid by the said personal representative within 3 months of the date of issue of the grant of representation to the estate of the deceased person, he or she shall have no further liability in respect of the said charge and each related late payment fee due and owing by the deceased at the date of his or her death.

(6) If the said full amount is not paid by the said personal representative within 3 months of the date of issue of the grant of representation to the estate of the deceased person, he or she shall be liable to pay to the relevant local authority, in addition to the said full amount, a late payment fee in respect of each month or part of a month in which any part of such charge or fee remains unpaid from the date of such issue.

(7) In this section, a reference to ‘grant of representation’ is, where 2 or more such grants are issued to the estate of a deceased person, a reference to the first of such grants to issue.”,

( j) by substituting the following sections for section 8:

“Application for certificate of exemption.

8.— (1) The owner of a residential property may apply to the relevant local authority for a certificate (in this Act referred to as a ‘certificate of exemption’), in respect of such liability date or liability dates as are specified in the certificate, stating that, by virtue of subsection (1), (2), (4), (5), (6) or (7) of section 4, no charge was payable in respect of the residential property, and specifying the reasons why no such charge was payable.

(2) An applicant for a certificate of exemption shall provide the relevant local authority with all such information as it may reasonably require for the purpose of its making a decision in relation to the application.

(3) When a relevant local authority receives from the applicant for a certificate of exemption all such information as it may reasonably require for the purpose of its making a decision in relation to the application, the relevant local authority shall within 14 days—

( a) if it is satisfied that in respect of any particular liability date or liability dates a charge was not payable in respect of the residential property concerned, issue a certificate of exemption to the applicant in respect of the residential property and the date or dates concerned, or

( b) if it is not so satisfied, refuse the application, give the applicant a statement in writing of the reason for the refusal and inform the applicant in writing of his or her entitlement to appeal the refusal to the District Court in accordance with this section.

(4) Where a relevant local authority refuses an application under this section, the applicant for the certificate concerned may appeal the refusal to the District Court.

(5) On the hearing of an appeal under this section, the District Court may—

( a) allow the appeal and direct the relevant local authority to issue a certificate of exemption to the appellant in such terms as the court shall specify, or

( b) affirm the refusal of the application concerned.

(6) An appeal against a refusal of a certificate of exemption shall be made to a judge of the District Court for the time being assigned to the district court district in which the residential property concerned is situated.

Receipts, certificates and requirements on sale of residential property.

8A.— (1) Where a person pays a charge or a late payment fee to a relevant local authority in respect of a residential property, that local authority shall give the person a receipt in writing in respect of the payment.

(2) Where a relevant local authority receives payment in full of a charge and all related late payment fees in respect of a residential property, it shall, on application to it in writing by or on behalf of the owner of the residential property, within 14 days, give that owner a certificate (in this section referred to as a ‘certificate of discharge’) confirming that the charge in respect of the year concerned has been paid and that no late payment fee is due or owing in respect of the property for that year.

(3) The vendor of a residential property shall, before the completion of the sale of the property, pay to the relevant local authority all charges and late payment fees due and owing to the relevant local authority in respect of that residential property.

(4) On or before the completion of the sale of a residential property, the vendor of that residential property shall, in respect of that residential property, give to the purchaser—

( a) a certificate of discharge, or

( b) a certificate of exemption,

as may be appropriate, in respect of each year in which a liability date fell since the date of the last sale of the property.

(5) As against a bona fide purchaser or mortgagee of such property for full consideration in money or money’s worth without notice, or a person deriving title from or under such a purchaser or mortgagee, a certificate of discharge or a certificate of exemption shall discharge the property concerned from liability for any charge or late payment fee due by the owner of that property for each year in which the liability date or dates to which the certificate relates fell.

(6) A person who contravenes subsection (3) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a class C fine.

(7) A relevant local authority—

( a) shall not charge a fee in respect of the issue by it of a receipt, a certificate of discharge or a certificate of exemption, and

( b) may charge a fee in respect of the issue by it of a duplicate of such receipt or certificate not exceeding the reasonable cost of issuing the duplicate.

(8) In this section—

‘purchaser’ includes, in relation to a residential property, a transferee under a transfer referred to in the definition of ‘sale’ in this subsection;

‘sale’ includes, in relation to a residential property, the transfer of the residential property by the owner to another person—

( a) in consequence of—

(i) the exercise of a power under any enactment to compulsorily acquire land, or

(ii) the giving of notice of intention to exercise such power,

or

( b) for no consideration or consideration that is significantly less than the estimated market value of the residential property concerned at the time of its transfer;

‘vendor’ includes, in relation to a residential property—

( a) a person who transfers the property to another person—

(i) in consequence of—

(I) the exercise of a power under any enactment to compulsorily acquire land, or

(II) the giving of notice of intention to exercise such power,

or

(ii) for no consideration or consideration that is significantly less than the estimated market value of the residential property concerned at the time of its transfer,

and

( b) an agent of the owner of the residential property who—

(i) receives the proceeds of the sale of the residential property or part thereof on behalf of the owner, or

(ii) provides legal advice to the owner in connection with a transfer referred to in subparagraph (ii) of paragraph ( a) of the property by the owner.

Forged and altered documents.

8B.— (1) It shall be an offence for a person to forge or utter knowing it to be forged a certificate or other document purporting to be issued under this Act (in this section referred to as ‘a forged document’).

(2) It shall be an offence for a person to alter with intent to defraud or deceive, or to utter knowing it to be so altered, a certificate or other document issued under this Act (in this section referred to as ‘an altered document’).

(3) It shall be an offence for a person to have, without lawful authority, in his or her possession a forged document or an altered document.

(4) It shall be an offence for a person to aid or abet the commission of an offence under this section.

(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

( a) on summary conviction, to a class A fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both, and

( b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €25,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or both.”,

( k) by substituting the following section for section 10:

“Delegation of functions of local authority.

10.— (1) A relevant local authority may delegate to a relevant board such one or more than one of its functions (other than the power to bring proceedings for an offence) relating to the collection of charges or late payment fees as it considers appropriate.

(2) A relevant local authority shall, where the Minister so directs in writing, delegate to a relevant board such one or more than one of its functions (other than the power to bring proceedings for an offence) relating to the collection of charges or late payment fees as may be specified in the direction.

(3) Where a delegation is made by a relevant local authority to a relevant board under this section—

( a) the relevant board shall perform the functions concerned in accordance with any limitations specified in the delegation as to the area, period in which, or extent to which it is to perform those functions,

( b) a provision of or under this Act or any other enactment (whether passed or made before or after the passing of this Act) that vests functions in the relevant local authority or regulates the manner in which any function is to be performed shall, if and in so far as it is applicable to the delegated function, have effect, for the purposes of the performance of that function by the relevant board, with the substitution of the relevant board for the relevant local authority, and accordingly references in any such provision to a local authority shall for the purposes of the performance of the delegated function by the relevant board be construed as references to the relevant board.

(4) A relevant board shall be paid such fees and expenses (if any) in respect of the performance by it of functions delegated under this section as may be prescribed.

(5) A local authority shall not revoke a delegation under subsection (1) or (2) except with the consent of the Minister.

(6) A local authority shall, where the Minister so directs in writing, revoke a delegation under this section.

(7) The functions conferred on a local authority by this section shall be executive functions for the purposes of the Act of 2001.

(8) In this section ‘relevant board’ means—

( a) the Local Government Computer Services Board established by the Local Government Computer Services Board (Establishment) Order 1975 ( S.I. No. 212 of 1975), and

( b) the Local Government Management Services Board established by the Local Government Management Services Board (Establishment) Order 1996 ( S.I. No. 410 of 1996),

or either of them.”,

( l) by substituting the following section for section 11:

“Data sharing and exchange.

11.—(1) Notwithstanding any enactment or rule of law—

( a) a relevant person shall, upon a request from a local authority, provide the local authority with such information in the possession or control of the relevant person or, where the relevant person is a body corporate, any subsidiary (within the meaning of section 155 of the Companies Act 1963) of the relevant person as the local authority may reasonably require for the purpose of enabling the local authority to perform its functions under this Act,

( b) a local authority shall, at such intervals as the Revenue Commissioners may specify, provide the Revenue Commissioners with such information obtained by the local authority pursuant to this Act, including tax reference numbers, as the Revenue Commissioners may reasonably require for the purpose of enabling them to perform their functions under a specified enactment, and

( c) a local authority shall, upon a request from, and at such intervals as may be specified by, a Minister of the Government, a local authority or a prescribed person, provide the Minister of the Government, the local authority or the prescribed person, as may be appropriate, with such information obtained by the local authority pursuant to this Act as the Minister of the Government, the local authority or the prescribed person concerned may reasonably require for the purpose of enabling him or her to perform his or her functions.

(2) The Minister shall not prescribe a person for the purposes of paragraph ( c) of subsection (1) unless he or she is satisfied that the provision by a local authority of information obtained by the local authority pursuant to this Act to such person will assist the person in discharging a function conferred on, or delegated to, him or her by or under any enactment.

(3) In this section—

‘Act of 2010’ means the Value-Added Tax Consolidation Act 2010;

‘relevant person’ means—

( a) the Private Residential Tenancies Board established under section 150 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004,

( b) the Electricity Supply Board established in accordance with the Electricity (Supply) Act 1927,

( c) the Revenue Commissioners,

( d) the Minister for Social Protection, or

( e) any other person standing prescribed for the time being;

‘specified enactment’ means—

( a) the Tax Acts,

( b) the Capital Gains Tax Acts,

( c) the Act of 2010,

( d) the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act 1999, or

( e) the Act of 2003;

‘tax reference number’ means—

( a) in relation to an individual, that individual’s personal public service number (within the meaning of section 262 of the Act of 2005), or

( b) in relation to a body corporate—

(i) the reference number stated on any return of income form or notice of assessment issued to that person by an officer of the Revenue Commissioners, or

(ii) the registration number of the body corporate for the purposes of the Act of 2010.”,

( m) in section 12—

(i) in subsection (3), by substituting “the relevant local authority forms the opinion that there exists sufficient evidence to justify the institution of proceedings for the offence concerned,” for “evidence sufficient to justify the institution of proceedings for the offence concerned comes to the knowledge of the relevant local authority for the residential property to which the offence relates,”,

(ii) in subsection (4), by deleting“or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of”, and

(iii) by inserting the following subsection after subsection (6):

“(7) Where a person is convicted of an offence under either subsection (5) or subsection (7) (in so far as either subsection relates to paragraph ( c) of subsection (2)) of section 5, the court may, in determining the amount of the fine to impose on the person in respect of that offence, take account of any late payment fee or late payment interest, or both, paid by the person in connection with the failure to pay the household charge to which the offence relates.”,

( n) by substituting the following section for section 14:

“Regulations, orders and directions.

14.— (1) The Minister may by regulations (and in section 3, by order) provide for any matter referred to in this Act as prescribed or to be prescribed.

(2) Without prejudice to any other provision of this Act, regulations under this Act may contain such incidental, consequential and supplementary provisions as appear to the Minister to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the regulations.

(3) A regulation or direction under this Act may—

( a) apply in respect of all local authorities or such local authorities or classes of local authority as are specified in the regulation or direction, and

( b) contain different provisions in relation to different local authorities or classes of local authority.

(4) Every regulation made by the Minister under this Act shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the regulation is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House sits after the regulation is laid before it, the regulation shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.”,

and

( o) in subsection (1) of section 15, by substituting “within the administrative area of the county council” for “within the county”.

(2) Any regulation or direction made or given under the Act of 2009 that is in force immediately before the commencement of this section shall continue in force after such commencement and may be amended or revoked accordingly.

(3) This section shall come into operation on 1 January 2012.

Annotations:

Modifications (not altering text):

C7

Reference to Private Residential Tenancies Board construed (7.04.2016) by Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015 (42/2015), s. 13(3), S.I. No. 151 of 2016.

Change of name of Board

13. ...

(3) In any enactment or any instrument under an enactment, references to the Private Residential Tenancies Board shall be construed as references to the Residential Tenancies Board.

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