Rates Vacancy Applications may be submitted by the owner of a property unable to obtain a suitable tenant at a reasonable rent or if the property is vacant for the purpose of undergoing additions alterations or repairs.
Refunds for vacant Rated properties are legislated for under the Local Government Act 1946, Section 14(1) which states:
“Where a hereditament which is situated in a county but not in an urban area and which is not a small dwelling within the meaning of the Local Government (Rates on Small Dwellings) Act, 1928 (No. 4 of 1928) is unoccupied at the making of the county rate, such rate shall be made upon the person (in this section referred to as the owner) who is for the time being entitled to occupy the hereditament and, upon such rate being paid by the owner, he shall be entitled to claim and receive from the Council of the County a refund of 1/12th of such rate in respect of every completed month (reckoned from any day of one month to the corresponding day of the next month) during which the hereditament is unoccupied either for the purpose of the execution of additions, alterations or repairs thereto or because the owner is bona fide unable to obtain a suitable tenant therefore, in the case of a hereditament to which the Rent Restrictions Act, 1946 (No. 4 of 1946) for the time being applies at the maximum rent for the time being permitted under that Act or in the case of any other hereditament at a reasonable rent”.
This legislation applies to all Local Authorities.
There is no other leglislation that allows the Council to give a refund.
If a property is vacant on the day the rate is made and is available for letting or undergoing refurbishment the rates must still be paid to the Council. The Ratepayer may get a rates refund provided the full year’s rates have been paid and certain conditions have been met.
The Ratepayer will need to complete a Rates Vacancy Application Form statutory undertaking and provide documentary evidence of his/her attempts to let or refurbish the property.
Please note that for 2015 and 2016, the vacancy refund available is limited to 75% of the rates.
For 2017, the vacancy refund available is a maximum of 50% of the rates assessed for that year. However, the 2017 budget has made a provision for a Vacant Property Assistance Scheme for ratepayers whose rate account was assessed at €10,000 or less for 2016. It provides for a relief equivalent to 25% of the rates bill assessed on eligible properties which effectively leaves the vacancy refund on these properties unaltered.