Friday 24 November 2017

Home Economics: Sinead Ryan answers your property questions

I purchased my first house in 2012, paying the deposit in November of that year. All other elements were in force, but the mortgage wasn't actually drawn down until January 2013 and Revenue has refused me tax relief (TRS). My solicitor and accountant knew about my desire to get mortgage relief and I left it in the hands of these professional people. Do I have any redress?

You have sent me the legal correspondence on this case and Karl Deeter of Irish Mortgage Brokers believes you have received poor advice.

Firstly it appears there was no actual sale of the property. To qualify for TRS there must be a sale – the mortgage is of secondary importance. It seems here that the house didn't actually transfer before December 2012.

"A 'No binding contract' means only one party has signed it, suggesting there was no 'sale'. Revenue operates on both liability and qualification for tax reliefs on the actual underlying contract".

This occasionally happens where the seller and buyer know each other and come to a private arrangement on the house transfer or the loan is drawn down but not paid over.

The issue is why a broker arranged the drawdown of the monies without a sale?

Your solicitor has suggested a judicial review to appeal, but this is an expensive and unnecessary process.

From your supplied documents the whole thing looks fishy and my advice is to take your case to the Financial Services Ombudsman immediately.

QWe are saving for a house and have our deposit of €35,000 in the credit union. We are worried after hearing about some credit unions closing/merging. Is our money safe or should we transfer it to a bank?

Your money is completely safe, but you are one of many people who appear concerned about this.

There are a number of credit unions undergoing a review, and in some, the Central Bank has put a special manager in place to assess losses. It is estimated that across 400 credit unions, arrears are as high as €70m. It is undoubtedly true that some will have to close or merge, as is being attempted with Newbridge and Naas credit unions; others may have to be bailed out.

In any event, all deposits are state guaranteed to the amount of €100,000 and the Finance Minister has made it very clear that individual account holders will suffer no loss to their deposits.

If, ultimately, your credit union is one of those closed, your business will simply transfer to another which may be in a less convenient location, but it won't affect your money.

Irish Independent

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