Guide to the Purchase of Property in Ireland

We set out below the text of a guide to the purchase of property in Ireland which we have prepared and which describes the position as of 1st July 2012.

Duncan Grehan & Partners are a firm of Irish Solicitors based in Dublin, bonded and licensed to provide legal advice on all aspects of Irish law in all counties in the Republic of Ireland. We are especially experienced in advising persons buying Irish property from abroad and we have encountered and dealt with most of the pitfalls. We would be pleased to advise you on all aspects of purchasing or selling properties of a commercial, residential or agricultural nature anywhere in Ireland.

When purchasing or selling property in Ireland the buyer and the seller each employ their own solicitor. A purchaser should always retain a solicitor who is independent of and not associated with the solicitor acting for the seller or the seller’s estate agent.

We will negotiate on your behalf in the purchase of properties, and can introduce you to architects, surveyors, accountants and managers of banks or other lending institutions and insurers. We will complete all legal formalities necessary to ensure that you acquire good and marketable title in your Irish property.

Before you agree or contract to buy or sell any property in Ireland you should first of all contact us so that we can assess the proposals on your behalf and ensure that your interests are properly protected.

We would draw your attention to the following four points:

1. The Procedure
There are 3 stages at each of which we will assist: :

a) Negotiations on the price, the deposit, the date when you can take possession (“the completion date”) and any special contract conditions (such as a satisfactory architect’s report on the property structure and building, and on planning and bye-law permissions or the making of the sale subject to loan approval).
b) The signing of the contract to purchase and the payment of the deposit on the purchase price.
c) Completion, transfer and registration of ownership:
The balance of the purchase monies are only paid over to the seller when we are satisfied that you will acquire good and marketable title to the property. This is normally some 4-6 weeks after contracts are signed.

2. Insurance
Having signed contracts to purchase or on completion, we can assist you in seeking the necessary proper insurance cover.

3. Testaments/ Wills
We can also advise you on the drafting and execution of a Will to provide for the disposal of your new property on your death taking into account the Irish law requirements for a valid Will and issues of taxation.

4. Taxes
Rates of tax change from year to year. You should contact us for specific advice and consult the Irish tax authority site at

a)Stamp Duty

Since the coming into force of the Finance Act 2010, the calculation of stamp duty has been simplified as a number of reliefs have been abolished and as the rates have been unified.

The stamp duty rate for residential property is 1% on the first €1,000,000 and 2% on the excess. Since 7th December 2011, the stamp duty rate for commercial property is 2% of the purchase price.

For further information on the above please contact us.

b) Income Tax

All rents or income arising from the property for the benefit of an owner who is not resident in Ireland are taxed at the rate of 20%. Where the owner requires such income to be paid to him abroad the tax should be deducted from any rent due by the tenant and paid directly to the Irish Revenue Commissioners. If an owner becomes resident for tax purposes in Ireland, then his income will be taxed at between 20% to 41% subject to personal tax allowances and an allowance for tax already paid abroad.

c) Capital Acquisitions Tax/Inheritance Tax

These taxes only arise where a person has become domiciled in Ireland for tax purposes. This would involve a person coming to Ireland and residing here permanently with the intention that all his tax affairs are to be regulated by the Irish authorities.
Class Thresholds
I. Between husband/wife: no tax, no limit.
II. Inheritance by a child from any parent or by any parent from his child: the first €350,000 is tax free.
III. Inheritance by grandchildren, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews: the first €33,500 is tax free.
IV. No family relation: the first €16,750 is tax free.

The tax free thresholds generally change every year. The tax rate is currently 30% of the taxable value of a gift or inheritance.

d) Capital Gains Tax (payable on a sale of property)

A person who is not resident in Ireland for tax purposes will pay Capital Gains Tax on any gain or profit made on the sale or disposal of his Irish property. This tax is calculated on the profit made on the sale, that is, on the difference between the original purchase price and the sale price. The tax payable on the profit will be reduced by changes in the consumer price index. However, where a person becomes “resident” for tax purposes in Ireland no tax is payable on the profit from the sale of his principal private residence and up to 1 acre.

e) Residential Property Tax

Residential Property Tax was abolished in the government’s budget for 1997. Buyers may still require evidence of the tax clearance certificate from sellers in appropriate cases.

f) Rates (taxes to local government authorities)

There are no rates on residential or agricultural property. Rates are payable on commercial properties such as office blocks, shops, car parks etc. The amount varies from county to county and is fixed on a yearly basis.

g) Service Charges

Many developments will have service charges payable to a management company. These vary depending on the size of the development and the budget of the management company.

Should you require our advice in relation to the purchase of property in Ireland we would be delighted to help you on a professional, competitive basis. If you wish to avail of our services or require any further information, please send us an e-mail with, your name, address and telephone/fax number or ring us at +353-1-6779078.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information above is accurate and up-to-date however we accept no liability for any errors or omissions. The information provided on this site is of a general nature and may not address your specific circumstances.