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Vacant Property Tax and Holiday Homes

  • 29-08-2021 12:44pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,429 ✭✭✭ SusanC10

    How likely is it that the Government's Housing Plans will include a Tax on vacant houses?

    If a Tax is likely, will there be an exemption for Holiday Homes which are not rented out but rather in family use only ?



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,875 ✭✭✭ Caranica

    No government ministers on here so your guess is as good as ours.

    I suspect that holiday homes built with holiday home tax designation will be automatically exempt. The issue is with other homes. It's a case of wait and see for now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,429 ✭✭✭ SusanC10

    Thanks. The home in question would pre-date any of that but is used solely as a Holiday Home by family.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,644 ✭✭✭✭ cnocbui

    I think it unlikely holiday homes would be included if there were to be a tax on vacant property. For one, there would be many a senior civil servant and politician caught in such a net, so the civil service wouldn't be putting it forward as a suggestion, or would 'yes minister' it off the agenda in the unlikely event a minister came up with a semi-original idea. It would only swell government coffers while having no impact on housing availability in Dublin.

  • Registered Users Posts: 72,917 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn

    Perhaps a partial or full tax exemption on any gains on the sale of the house would have a better take up on freeing up these houses back to the market. A €1000 a year or similar property tax is unlikely to see any mass sell off.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,709 ✭✭✭ saabsaab

    I could see it being introduced in the future. Of course it will depend on various factors including location, size, income, % occupation and ability to pay.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭ mrslancaster

    How would that work - would the property need to be continuously vacant for a certain number of years? Like, a holiday home is not vacant if its used by the family regularly for weekends or summer holidays or an elderly persons home may be temporarily unoccupied while they're in a nursing home, but its not vacant. Taxing that would be just wrong. Also a residential property is not vacant if the owner is refurbishing it to rent it or in the middle of selling, it cant be occupied in those circumstances.

    What is an owner of a commercial premises supposed to do if they cant rent or sell in these covid times? Just hitting them with more taxes when they have zero income because of government rules wont help the housing situation.

    Easy soundbites for some politicians to make as if it will solve the housing crisis but every new rule has consequences and some just make things worse.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,173 ✭✭✭ Marius34

    That's a very good point. Because vacancy by different institutions, different countries means a different thing. They would first will need to work out, how to define vacancy for this purpose.

    One thing I'm confident with, this will not solve housing crisis at all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,644 ✭✭✭✭ cnocbui

    Don't be silly, taxation has been proven to solve every perceived social or climate problem, without fail. /s

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,064 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

  • Registered Users Posts: 394 ✭✭ Enter name here

    How so I offered an opinion on why there shouldn't be a tax on vacant property>? An opinion on why there shouldn't be a tax has nothing to do with topic?

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,064 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    Your post was a rant, not even vaguely close to the topic.

  • Registered Users Posts: 394 ✭✭ Enter name here

    I don't see it as a rant and you do. That's the wonders of democracy now isn't it. We can have different opinions and both are able to exercise them. Because in a democratic society like Ireland for example one wouldn't be trying to silence a freedom of right to exercise that opinion now would it.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,064 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    This (boards) isn't a democracy and you've no rights of any description.

    Your post was an off-topic rant. It doesn't address the topic in any way, shape or form and consists of you ranting about people in receipt of welfare

  • Registered Users Posts: 394 ✭✭ Enter name here

    Thank you for proving my point, anyway you have a most excellent evening.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭ mrslancaster

    Ime they shop locally, why would anyone transport a boot full of perishable foods when the same shops are available all over the country? I dont know a single person who goes on holidays or a weekend break and doesnt eat out in a local restaurant, cafe or pub at least some of the time.

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  • Posts: 0 ✭✭ [Deleted User]

    @cnocbui Connemara has plenty of people living in it. Some areas are struggling to keep young people but that is actually improving at the minute with remote working etc. Alot of comnemara is commutable to Galway also. There are other areas of the country that are a lot less dense population wise. People at the moment are struggling to get houses to rent in Connemara (for living in)

  • Posts: 0 ✭✭ [Deleted User]

    @mrslancaster I can see your point regarding renovations but a tax would hurry those along. I’m also not sure how vacancy would be determined. I live next to a family owned holiday home and it is occupied for max two weeks a year. I don’t understand it really as it would be far cheaper to stay in a hotel and get all you meals served to you. It is problematic. How it can be solved i don’t know.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,064 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    Cost. Supermarket vs convenience store

    There are villages in Donegal, Louth, Wicklow, Wexford with hundreds of holiday homes and static caravans who don't see a cent spent by the owners.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ JimmyVik

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I agree. I live a few miles from a very popular seaside resort in Donegal.

    In March/April/May the local builders merchants would be full of customers who own caravans or holiday homes. They’re getting bits done before the summer season starts.

    Then when the summer starts, they’re in the amusements, buying ice creams, eating in the restaurants, frequenting the bookmakers, going to the pubs, having surf lessons. They also source their gas bottles for cooking locally too.

    My neighbour from Northern Ireland uses the house he bought beside me solely as a holiday home for himself, his children and their children. He uses local plumbers, painters, window cleaners, electricians all recommended by me.

    Also, I believe caravans in parks can be no more than 7 years old (I may be wrong on the age). Apart from the ground rent every year, you have to purchase the new caravan from the owners of the caravan site too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus

    Couple of issues:

    The phenomenon of people relocating to rural areas will tend to put upward pressure on property prices/values in rural areas, but of course it will equally relieve pressure on prices/value in urban areas. And that might be of benefit to those who have jobs that can't be done remotely, who need to live in urban areas.

    In general, the rationale for a tax on assets (like land or buildings) is to provide an incentive to use the asset productively, so that you can generate an income from it to pay the tax. The thinking here is that it's better for the community at large that assets be used productively rather than being left idle or vacant. And this rationale is stronger, obviously, if the assets in question are in short supply, like housing is right now. As you point out, there is already a property tax, but if there are a significant number of under-used or vacant properties, the obviously conclusion is that it's not high enough to incentivise productive use. You can address that either by raising property taxes generally, or by raising them specifically on vacant or under-used properties.

    It's worth pointing out that you can have a holiday home and also use it productively by listing it on Air BnB or similar. Just block out the weeks/weekends that you want to use the place yourself. Your property won't then be vacant; it'll be actively used in your tourist micro-business. And it'll generate local activity and income as you, e.g., engage locals to clean it and deal with the laundry between visits. What's not to like?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,429 ✭✭✭ SusanC10

    Thanks for all the replies.

    I think we will need to wait and see how "Vacant" is defined. Previously, it seemed to be as not "in use".

    Our family Holiday Home is very much "in use" just not all the time. We have our own personal family reasons for not wishing to rent it out or sell it for the foreseeable future. I really don't want to be forced into that.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,644 ✭✭✭✭ cnocbui

    Do you have a car you are not fully utilising? I think the government should levy a hefty tax on you until you capitulate and become more socially responsible and rent that car out so that the community can benefit from the more optimal utilisation of the asset you bought and paid for, through the nose. Sure there will be thefts of loose change, contents of the boot, upholstry stain issues - next time you get a flat - surprise, no jack and no spare wheel. But this shouldn't be of any concern to you, the benefit of society trumps any consequences you might have to endure for the mistreatment of your asset.

    I have a sort of holiday home. I once allowed some relations to use it in winter when it was cold. Next time I went there, I found that the gas had been left on the stove/oven - an old type without auto shutoof - and both the main and spare gas cylinders were empty. Poor things had been cold so used two full gas cyclinders to run the stove continuously as a heater. A major miracle that they didn't burn my property to the ground.