This new Act, which came in to operation on the 1st of December 2009 introduces major reforms to the practice areas of conveyancing / land law. In essence, the Act seeks to modernise and simplify existing legislation. It deals with the abolition of feudal concepts such as words of limitation, the fee farm grant and the rule against perpetuities. It also deals with more controversial areas of home loan mortgages and rent review.
Home Loan Mortgages
The Act provides greater protection for Home Owners that there are now new obligations on a Lending Institution before a home may be sold by them. These include:-
- Having to obtain a Court Order for possession unless the home owner voluntarily consents to handing over the property.
- Gives 28 days notice before exercising a power of sale.
- Proceeds to sale in a reasonable time. If this is not appropriate the Lending Institution will be put under an obligation to rent out the property and use the rent received to lower the debt. The Court has further discretion to adjourn a matter, stay the enforcement, postpone the date of repossession, or suspend the Order for a period of time if it deems to be reasonable. New Mortgages will be amended to reflect this new legislation.
Whilst the Act has been adopted in to Irish Law, the majority of the Act came in to effect on the 1st of December 2009, the provision in relation to rent review has not as yet been implemented. It is expected that this will apply to new Leases from January 2010, and proposes to introduce provision for downwards rent reviews. Interestingly, it would appear that the Act will apply notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary contained in a new Lease or any Agreement for Lease, and therefore prohibits parties from contracting out of the legislation.
07 January 2010