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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10949
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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Not sure if you can answer this--I have a second property in

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Not sure if you can answer this--I have a second property in Republic of Ireland [I live in the UK ] and was not made aware of the NPPR charges untill Dec 2012. I phoned the NPPR on 6th Dec to pay the outstanding debt and was given a settlement figure of 320 euros [200 standing charge plus 120 euros late payment fee]
My Mother lived rent free in the property untill her death in July 2011 and there was no charge to me for 2009/2010/2011. My receipts show clearly that I live in the UK and I now know the fee should have been approx 1200 euros not 320 euros as informed.
The local council are now demanding 5370 euros as I have a buyer for my house and are refusing to accept that they made a gross error when I first spoke to them for a settlement figure.
1. In theory you could raise a defence of change of position in relation to the incorrect levying of the wrong charge. However, that is not likely to be accepted because the amounts are small in relation to your overall financial position. The defence of change of position allows a party to take advantage of a mistake on the part of the other party where they have altered their position in reliance upon the mistaken non payment or otherwise. However, it has only been successful where large amounts of tax are involved that would cripple the taxpayer when paying subsequently. Accordingly, I don't see it as being successful here.
2. Additionally, as you are now selling your house, the buyer is entitled to deduct the unpaid NPPR charges from the purchase price as the liability to the tax follows the house. So your purchaser will have to pay if you don't pay. So this puts you in a bind. The Standard TErms & Conditions for Sale of the Law Society of Ireland allow the buyer to deduct the sums owed as NPPR from any purchase price. So your sale will be stymied by the tax issue.
3. I regret to say that I would advise payment. I know that is not what you want to hear, but as someone is going to end up paying it anyway, you are better off pay it rather than have a purchaser do it.
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