I read recently about first- time buyers keeping 30pc mortgage interest relief on a second property. I bought between 2004/8 and have rented out that property (giving up my relief) and hope to buy again this year while continuing to rent out first property. Would I still receive the 30pc relief on second property?
As your first home has become an investment you can claim tax relief on 75pc of the interest on its mortgage but you cannot transfer the 30pc first time buyer relief to your new private home.
Kevin McNerney of the Trusted Advisors Group says: "Where someone buys a property this year as a second-time buyer, the only mortgage interest relief they are entitled to is 15pc of the interest up to a ceiling of €3,000 (€450 a year or €37.50 per month). Provided they buy before the end of this year they will get this relief until the end of 2017.
"However, in your case where you would have initially been entitled to the higher relief for FTBs for a maximum of seven years, you should have stopped claiming this relief as soon as the property was rented out. Revenue have advised me that they would be entitled to claim for any unused years at the higher rate on a new property.
"This means that if you bought the property in 2006 and rented it out in 2010, you would have claimed five years of relief at the higher rate and still have two years of relief that is unused and can be claimed on the new property.
They did, however, state that these claims have to submitted separately and they will be assessed on a 'case by case basis'."
I am a widow and my son has asked me to be "co-applicant" on a mortgage he is trying to take out. He said the bank had insisted.
I don't have much in the way of savings and am worried that if he loses his job I would be responsible. I don't want to say no, but what are my responsibilities?
A co-applicant is what used to be called a guarantor, and carries heavy responsibilities. In the event that your son misses his payments, or cannot continue the mortgage you may become liable for it.
If you feel his job is precarious, so does the bank -- hence their demand.
Frank Conway of MoneyCoach says: "In the past, a guarantor was a short-term necessity for a child who may not have reached the earnings potential needed to make those repayments. It was assumed that the child would be earning more in the future.
"This is no longer a given.
"If a child is unable to provide the bank with enough assurances that they can support the mortgage on their own, then the bank should be up-front about this and simply reject the application.
"I would be reluctant to advise you to enter a legally binding contract unless you are totally comfortable with it. Could you maintain payments in a worst case scenario?"
Declining might give your son time to build up a bigger deposit or secure a better job as property prices continue to fall.
You might be doing him a favour.