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My landlord wants me to pay the €100 charge

I've just been informed by my landlord that he considers me responsible for paying the Household Charge. I assumed he was, as owner, but he claims it's a "service" and won't even add it to my rent. Now the deadline is past -- I thought tenants were exempt.

This is bad form of your landlord, but technically he may have a point, although his delay in telling you is inexcusable.

Tenants, per se, are not exempt -- just those in Council properties. Although the €100 charge is placed on the home owner your landlord may be within his rights to pass it on, in the same way he would bin charges or cable television fees.

The Irish Property Owners Association (IPOA) says, "Many leases allow for the passing on of charges for additional services, including those rendered by local authorities".

Obviously some landlords will absorb the cost, but those with multiple units might not be able to afford to do so.

The reason he won't add it to your rent is that he's not allowed it for tax purposes, so he'll probably want it collected as a separate charge.

Check your lease agreement. Either way, I certainly wouldn't be paying the interest (currently €11) due to his delay in setting out his stall.

I purchased a house in 2005. I was newly divorced and as this was my first property as a now single person, I did not have to pay stamp duty on it . I tried to claim the new 30pc mortgage relief and have been told I am not entitled to it as Revenue doesn't consider me a first-time buyer. Which is it?

It seems Revenue definitions are to blame. Being a first-time buyer (FTB) for stamp duty purposes is not the same as an FTB for income tax relief.

The legislation which governed the Stamp Duty FTB relief that applied up to the 7th of December 2011 differs from the legislation governing mortgage interest relief and the new 30pc rate of tax relief on mortgage interest.

The former describes someone within the first seven years of a qualifying home loan. For you, these are 1981-83 plus 2006-09.

As at 2005, there existed in stamp duty legislation a provision to, post- divorce, deem an individual to be an FTB for this purpose.

There is no provision in income tax law to deem a divorced individual to be an FTB.

Aundrea McDonnell, Senior Tax Advisor with www.taxback.com advises that for the new relief measures introduced in the last budget, this applies to an FTB post 2004, but as you had already bought in 1981, you cannot avail of the 30pc rate.

"You are however, entitled to claim relief as a second-time buyer at 15pc of interest paid on your mortgage," she adds.

If you need further clarification, contact your local Revenue office quoting your PPSN number.

Indo Property