Monday 18 December 2017

My ex won't pay his half of the property tax

Sinead Ryan

Sinead Ryan

My ex-husband lives abroad but we jointly own our house.

He has said he will not be paying the property tax even though we agreed that all expenses will be shared I don't believe I should be held responsible. Can I get Revenue to go after him for his half?

Revenue is indifferent as to who pays the Local Property Tax (LPT) when it falls due and the only requirement is that the householder coughs up.

As it has extensive powers of collection, not paying is not really an option; neither is holding out on half of the money.

By all means I would advise you to deal with this issue with your husband via a solicitor, say, but that's outside the scope of this column.

Regarding the LPT, Revenue will seek to collect it from whomever it can.

It does say that it only wants to receive one return per household, so it probably won't allow a split payment in any event.

It advises that joint householders should agree between themselves who is to pay the tax, but if nobody does, it will seek to collect from any of the owners by automatic salary deduction, an attachment to your bank account or bringing you to court.

Therefore, chase your husband for half, but in any event you will be liable to pay the whole lot yourself if he doesn't comply.

I live in Co Clare – about 30km from the River Shannon.

My home insurance has come up for renewal but the insurers won't cover me because of risk of flooding.

However, my home is not prone to flooding nor ever been affected by floods. The insurers won't listen. How can I convince them?

This is very frustrating. Many insurance companies use a mapping system to identify what they consider flood, subsidence or other danger areas. Sometimes they get it wrong and there's no budging them.

Brian McNelis of the Irish Brokers Association explains: "Being unable to secure home insurance is definitely cause for concern.

"Unfortunately you are experiencing a common problem in the Irish market whereby insurers are refusing cover on the basis of flood-risk – even where none exists.

"The system of 'geo-coding' is the culprit, where properties are in a location within the geo-coded land but where the chances of flooding are remote.

"Clare is one of the counties most likely to be affected by flooding and so homeowners in some areas are struggling to get cover.

"Geo-coding, although handy for insurance companies, is not always accurate and can leave vast swathes of townlands uninsurable, despite no history of flooding in the area.

"It can also ignore remedial works which have been put in place by local authorities rendering the area far less flood prone.

"I suggest you talk to a broker – they can plead your case with another company and try to negotiate a deal.

"Many of our members have been successful in procuring cover for clients through expert advice and surveys in these areas."

Irish Independent

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