Landlords pay house charge after warning

Wed, Aug 15, 2012, 01:00

JUST OVER 5,000 landlords and other second-home owners have paid the €100 household charge since warning letters were issued last month, according to new figures from the Local Government Management Agency.

Some 47 of those who paid after getting letters sent by local authorities were major landlords owning more than 20 properties each.

One landlord who owns 130 homes paid almost €15,000, just under €2,000 of which was in late payment penalties.

More than 100,000 warning letters were sent by city and county councils last month to homeowners who had failed to pay.

A further 60,000 are to be issued by the middle of next week.

Income from the household charge yesterday passed the €100 million mark, but some €60 million remains outstanding from homeowners who missed the March 31st deadline to pay €100.

Almost all those who received letters are second-home owners already liable for the non-principal private residence (NPPR) or second-home tax. These property owners were identified using the NPPR database and the register of private rented accommodation held by the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB).

Since the letters were sent last month almost 40,000 additional payments have been made. Almost half of these came from just 5,340 second property owners. Those with multiple properties made payments in relation to 17,705 houses and apartments.

Just over 1,600 properties were owned by 47 landlords, who own a minimum of 20 properties each, but waited more than three months past the deadline to pay their charges.

The largest payment came from the owner of 130 properties.

The next largest was a landlord of 100 properties, while a third owns 82 homes.

Since the beginning of July the charges on 39,168 properties have been paid. The Local Government Management Agency, which has been given responsibility for compiling a database of liable households, is using data from a variety of agencies to identify those who have not registered.

The data the LGMA is analysing to track down individuals who have not paid comes from agencies including the Revenue Commissioners, ESB Networks, the Department of Social Protection, the PRTB and the Property Registration Authority.

Paul McSweeney, chief executive of the management agency, said penalties and interest would continue to accrue for those who had not yet paid. It was “critical” that the funds were collected to fund facilities that benefited entire communities such as libraries, emergency services and street lighting and cleaning.

Socialist Party councillor Mick Barry, who is based in Cork, called on people who had not paid to “dig in” and continue to refuse to pay.