Irish Times Property Clinic 24th day of September 2015

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Q The local council has contacted me to say that because I have not paid the NPPR liability in time I now have to back pay this with a fine. The amount now owing is in the thousands. I would have expected my property management company to flag these property related liabilities with me or is this usually outside their remit? A Without question, your owners’ management company (OMC) and their agent (if any), has no liability to advise you of your taxes or undertake to pay them on your behalf. There are no grounds to assume that a third party can be held responsible for your tax liabilities. You should have contacted the County Council where the property is situated to clarify the charge when it was originally due. Alternatively you could have sought clarification from the OMC. This task would have avoided the late penalties and informed you of your liability. The NPPR was charged from 2009 to 2013. It is no longer charged, but the charge itself and the associated penalties of non-payment are still being sought and recovered. You will not be able to sell your property until the NPPR charge and penalties have been settled in full. You should contact the County Council as soon as you can. The OMC is responsible for the area from your front door to the gates of the estate in layman’s terms. All that occurs inside your property and your property itself is your responsibility. It is true to say that there are many taxes now since the recession that taxpayers are required to be aware of and are not necessarily advised are due. I would urge you to familiarise yourself with your lease agreement that binds you to your OMC. This legal contract outlines your obligations and liabilities to the OMC and theirs to you. It would also be helpful for all involved to attend the general meetings of the OMC to be up to date on matters concerning the development. By doing so you will be able to establish what the OMC is required to do and what your responsibilities are. I would also recommend that you arrange a meeting with a qualified accountant who will be able to discuss and advise you on all your tax liabilities and any credits available. Paul Huberman is a chartered property and facilities management surveyor and a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) Author: Paul Huberman of H&H Property Management Consultants Ltd Publish Date: 24/09/2015