Thursday, 28 June 2012

NPPR Payment deadline is Saturday 30th June 2012

Just received an e-newsletter from They are reminding landlords about the deadline for paying the NPPR ( Non Principal Private Residence) charge. This is €200 a year that non resident landlords must pay by law. (more information at ). It is very easy to pay on line and the funds go to the city council or county council via the NPPR organisation.

If you have not paid by the 30th June you will be charged "late payment fees". According to the NPPR website " A person who does not pay a NPPR charge by the payment date leaves themselves open to prosecution by the Local Authority to whom the payment is due. A late payment fee will also arise if payment is not made by the payment date - see above.  Furthermore, both the NPPR charge and any accumulated late payment fee will be a charge against the property concerned and will continue to be such for twelve years after the charge or late payment fees concerned became due."

"The Act provides that, if a charge is not paid within a month after the last date for payment, a late payment fee will apply for every month or part of month that the €200 charge remains unpaid. The late payment fee amounts to €20 per month or part of a month. The late payment fee will continue to roll up as long as the charge remains unpaid and the amount involved can be substantial".

So if you are a landlord can you offset this expenditure against income?
According to The Office of the Revenue Commissioners - Irish Tax and Customs website :- 
The following are examples of expenditure you may not deduct when computing your rental income or losses (last on list)
" The charge on residential property (sometimes referred to as the second home charge) introduced by the Local Government (Charges) Act 2009."

The Irish e-newsletter website also reminds landlords about "Safety Issues" -
1) Landlords are obliged by law to provide a fire blanket in all rental properties

2) All rental properties that do not have mains powered smoke alarms must have 10 year life smoke alarms installed.

Unlike in Northern Ireland whereby each rented property must have an annual gas safety check and a certificate issued to the tenant, there are no regulations at present in the ROI  - Find out more about saftey in rental property in Northern Ireland by visiting the NI Direct website Here

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Insurance question regarding problem for flooded flat

The Irish Times Thursday edition has their well known property section in it. It is still a most interesting read, but it is shame there are no longer colour photos on the front page. This is possibly due to the fact that it used to be an entirely separate section and now it is part of the Business + Technology and Sports Thursday part of the paper.

However the "Property Clinic" Advice page is one area I tend to look at in particular.

The 21st June 2012 edition had a head line "Why won't insurance pay for flooded flat?"

Question asked: When my washing machine broke recently water escaped from it and flooded my apartment, ruining almost everything. I know from my service charge statement that our building is insured but my management agent is telling me that it doesn’t cover my apartment.  When my neighbour’s apartment was flooded last year, because of a leaking pipe, the management company’s insurance paid out for that. I don’t really understand what the difference is with my case and why they wont pay. It is going to cost a fortune. 

The reply by Paul Mooney who is a member of the Property and Facilities Management Professional Group of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland replied  that " Apartment-block multi-unit developments will have a block policy of insurance that will cover the structure, fixtures and fittings against normal risks. These usually include “water or oil escaping from a fixed water or heating installation or domestic appliance” together with, freezing of a fixed water or heating installation, riot and civil commotion, ground heave or subsidence, fire, storm and many more insurable risks.

The policy will not cover the individual contents of owners or residents of the individual apartments such as carpets, appliances, curtains, sofas and so on, but will cover fixtures and fittings such as plasterboard, kitchen fittings, bathroom fittings, damage to decoration and, quite often, timber floors." Read the rest of the article on line here

In England where I have been in the letting business for over thirty years, the situation is very similar. You need to make sure that you have contents insurance to cover the carpets curtains, furniture and personal equipment like TVs, clothing etc. If you own the flat then it is essential that you do have contents insurance in case something like this happens. You will normally find that the block management company's insurance will cover the structure as outlined in Paul Mooney's reply above.

In England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland if the property is let the Landlord must be tjhe one who insures his / her possesions like cirtains and carpets and some companies like HomeLet offer limited landlord contents insurance. Tenants should ensure their own belongings and if they have brought their own furniture. rugs and similar items into the property they must insure these. The landlord's insurance will not cover their posessions  and vica versa. Too many tenants tend to think, insurance for our stuff is a waste of money, I thought it was covered by the landlord and who is going to pay for my computer that has just been stolen.

Washing machines in apartments do tend to leak from time to time, sometimes the machine will have been moved out and the rubber drainage hose becomes bent or comes out of the drainage pipe. It can be very frustrating if this happens toyou from the apartment upstairs. It all takes a while to dry out and you have the inconvenience of assessors and workmen.  Even with tiled kitchen and bathroom floors it can still seep in the concrete below and where there has been a conversion and the floors are wooden...I won't go there.

Thirty + years ago as a letting agent in southern England, there were not so many property rentals that had washing machines. It was normally the more expensive type of property. The idea soon caught on and now apart from washing machines many apartments are equipped with another machine that can have leaking problems....the dishwasher.

If you live in an appartment, whenever possible try and use the washing machine when you are physically in the place in case there is a problem, although it understandable why many people will want to set it off when they go out or go to work  as the kitchen will often form part of the living area as in the image on the left and you can't watch TV with the noise of the washing machine in the foreground.   

Irish Landlord tries to make contact about Landlord Insurance in Ireland

A PR LOG press release from Irish Property Insurance going back to May 2009 was found on line yesterday by a property owner from the Republic of Ireland.

She had contacted PR Log "Insurance in Ireland – Household and Landlord Insurance now available in Ireland"

"Sheila XXXXX said: can you quote landlord insurance for property in Republic of ireland"

We attempted to reply back to her saying " Hello Sheila,

Thanks for the message, I am really sorry I know of no one for Landlord insurance in the Republic of Ireland. Have been trying to find companies for a long time.

Companies like Endsleigh, HomeLet and Letsure will be OK in Northern Ireland, but none cover the other part of Ireland.

You could try Intasure - they won't do rent protection outside UK, but buildings and contents and may classify the property as a second home.

Try this link

We have just started a blog site today  and I was asking for help on that subject. Hope to be working with another Irish broker soon, but not on Rental insurance".

Unfortunately her email address was invalid  and we could not reply. It is very important when leaving your email address that the details are correct.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Flooding in Northern Ireland..Yes, it happens

Back in December 2011 The Department of Rural Development in Northern Ireland issued a press release "Online Flood Maps have been updated with information now available on areas across the north that may be affected by flooding from rivers, sea and now rainfall "

"The Strategic Flood Map also gives helpful information on the location of flood defences already in place to reduce risk and is intended to increase awareness among the general public, local authorities, utilities and other organisations about the risk of flooding. This is to enable them to be better prepared to take appropriate action to reduce the impact of flooding.
Announcing the changes to the Strategic Flood Map, the Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “Flooding can cause major damage and disruption and by providing information we can all better manage flood risk. I see the Strategic Flood Map as an essential tool as it enables everyone to understand the risk they face."
Last October, very heavy rain had caused a great deal of chaos and occurred at the same time as there was severe flooding in Dublin.
The Department of Rural Development in Northern Ireland  website has a very comprehensive  section on flood management. Details can be found here 
So if you live in an area that has had flooding or could be flooded, you can often find that it is much harder to get property insurance. Quite often companies will increase premiums, increase excsess levels or even refuse to insure a property.
This is a problem that specialist insurance broker Neil Cook of Allstyles Insurance has found so often over the years. If you live in Northern Ireland and are looking for insurance - Property insurance - Ex -offenders and a lot more Contact Neil Cook Here

Irish Property Insurance blog is launched today

In 2008 jml Insurance launched "" as a one page stand alone site backed up by a specialist section on the main jml Insurance website. The site was expanded a lot more earlier this year and has recently been upgraded and now offers several pages of insurance ads and information for the Irish market.

Earlier this week Irish Property Insurance went live on Twitter and now we are looking for more Irish insurance companies to advertise their products.

Although there are currently companies who can cover Landlord and Tenant Property insurance in Northern Ireland and ordinary (plus specialist problem property insurance like flood damage property / subsidence etc) we have not been able to find companies for the rest of the country.

There is a great rental market in Ireland and over the years we have received lots of emails wanting to know if we knew of companies covering the Republic of Ireland. Unfortunately the reply has always been NO.

The same applied to people with flood damage property, so if you are a company out there who can offer an affiliate arrangement we would be delighted to hear from you.

Holiday home and second residence property insurance - Travel insurance - Pet insurance - Wedding insurance - Car hire excess insurance - Gadget insurance - Motor breakdown insurance are now being catered for.

What about Self catering holiday rentals themselves our partners at have been in the business of marketing self catering holiday rentals for 10 years now. It only costs a few cents / pennies a week to advertise and there is a strong demand from people looking for self catering holiday rentals.

Pay a visit to the site and if you have any interesting articles and experiences you want added to this blog please contact us.