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contents W E L C O M E





Welcome to the winter edition of the Property Professional. I find it difficult to believe that I am already almost seven months in this post, so much has been happening in the Institute. My brief time so far has been a very worthwhile learning experience for me and I have certainly enjoyed my time in the CEO’s chair. I have been particularly struck by the level of support and co-operation afforded to me by both my predecessor, Liam O’Donnell, the President, Sean Mason and the members of National Council. IPAV is also fortunate to have a first class team of staff at Head Office who look after the many items that demand attention on a daily basis. Without all of these people working together efficiently and in unison, the Institute would not be the thriving organisation it is today. Fintan McNamara


Over the past year the Institute has achieved a great deal. Our membership alone, now in excess of 800, bears testimony to the respect in which it is held and it is now regarded as a major representative body for auctioneers and estate agents nationwide. As CEO I intend to continue the policy of offering aspirant members the opportunity to study for the profession at as many locations around the country as is feasibly possible. Our current relationship with the Institutes of Technology has been of major benefit and I look forward to cementing this relationship further in the years ahead. Education is increasingly important in the current changing environment and the Education Advisory Committee is currently looking at ways of furthering our study courses to ensure that we meet the highest standards as we enter the era of regulation. I would like to thank you the members for your support to date and hope to meet as many of you as possible in the coming year. As I have already stated, I am always delighted to hear the views and opinions of members on the ground and my door at No 129 is always open to you. Finally, I hope you get the opportunity to have a seasonal break with your family and loved ones over the festive season and I wish you all a Happy and Peaceful Christmas

Chief Executive Officer Fintan McNamara B.A. M.Litt.

Fintan McNamara Chief Executive

Editor Tim Ryan Tim Ryan Communications Tel: 01 6625676


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Views expressed by contributors or correspondents are not necessarily those of IPAV or the publisher and neither IPAV nor the publisher accept any responsibility for them.

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THE PRESIDENT Dear Member As we approach the end of another year, it is opportune for all of us to reflect back on the year gone by and to plan for the year ahead. The Institute had a very fruitful 2006 during which progress was made in a number of areas. Significantly, it was the year in which our long-serving Chief Executive Liam O’Donnell retired and his successor Fintan McNamara took over the reins at Head Office. The transition was almost seamless and Fintan and all the team at Head Office are now forging ahead to meet new challenges. Next year we are finally promised the publication of the promised legislation on regulating the auctioneering profession and this will be our main priority for the coming year. The contents of this Bill will have major implications for all of us as to how we run our business and we will be carrying out a forensic examination of its contents. At all times, of course, we will keep members informed of developments and indeed hold formal briefing sessions when necessary.

Seán Mason President

Our AGM and Annual Convention in May was very well attended and plans are already advanced for next year’s Convention which will take place in the Marriot Hotel in Druid’s Glen, Co. Wicklow on the weekend of May 26th and 27th. In the Autumn the Institute organised a series of Seminars in Dublin, Cork and Galway which dealt with topics of concern to members. Continuous Professional Development is now part of every profession and IPAV is no exception. Next year we will continue to progress this area in every way we can. In the Autumn also we engaged the services of well known economist Jim Power to prepare a comprehensive submission to the Minster for Finance. In the submission we outlined a detailed set of proposals in relation to the whole area of Stamp Duty and how the burden on buyers could be lightened. In particular, we suggested the abolition of all Stamp Duty for first-time buyers. Education continues to be a main priority of the Institute and again we saw record numbers of participants in both our full and part-time courses around the country. I would like to pay tribute to the work of the Education Advisory Committee and its Chairman Peter Brady for the tremendous efforts they put in to continually improving the courses and tailoring them to the needs of people entering the profession for the first time or for those who are already involved and wish to acquire formal training. Both Fintan McNamara and myself have a particular interest in education and we will continue to develop these courses in the months and years ahead. Our quarterly magazine, The Property Professional continues to be our flagship publication and its ever increasing distribution list is a testament to the high regard in which it is held in the property industry and beyond. Like my predecessor Willie Farrell, I continually remind members of the value of the Institute and of the importance of displaying the IPAV logo wherever possible. I would ask all members to make a New Year’s resolution to play their part to the fullest extent in this regard.

Seán Mason President


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BUDGET 2007 THE FOLLOWING ARE THE PRINCIPAL CHANGES ANNOUNCED IN THE BUDGET IN RELATION TO PROPERTY AND FARMING MORTGAGE INTEREST RELIEF The current annual ceiling on the amount of interest that can be allowed on a mortgage is being doubled for first-time buyers from €4,000/€8,000 single/married to €8,000/ €16,000 single/married. The increased relief will be available to all first-time buyers who are in the first seven years of their mortgage. The ceiling for non-first-time buyers is also being increased, from €2,540/€5,080 single/ married to €3,000/€6,000 single/married. The cost of these measures is estimated to be €50 million in 2007 and €70 million in a full year.

ALLOWANCE FOR RENT PAID BY CERTAIN TENANTS The maximum level of rent paid for private rented accommodation on which tax relief can be claimed, at the standard rate of tax, is being increased for those aged under 55 years of age, from €1,650 to €1,800 per annum for a single person and from €3,300 to €3,600 per annum for widowed and married persons. This equates to a tax credit of €360 per annum for single persons and €720 for widowed and married persons. For those aged 55 years and over, the maximum level of rent paid on which tax relief can be claimed is being increased from €3,300 to €3,600 per annum for a single person and from €6,600 to €7,200 per annum for widowed and married persons. This equates to a tax credit of €720 per annum for a single person and €1,440 per annum for widowed and married persons. This measure is estimated to cost €2.5 million in 2007 and €3.5 million in a full year.

RENT-A-ROOM SCHEME From 1 January 2007, it is proposed to close off use of the Rent-a-Room Scheme where the rent received is from connected persons who in turn are claiming rent relief. It is estimated that this measure will yield €0.2 million in 2007 and €0.2 million in a full year.

INCREASE IN THE SPECIFIED RATES FOR PREFERENTIAL HOME LOANS AND OTHER LOANS An employee in receipt of a preferential loan is charged income tax on the difference between the interest actually paid and the amount which would have been payable at


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the “specified” rates of interest for the loans. To reflect increases in interest rates, the specified rate in respect of home loans is being increased from 3.5% to 4.5% and the specified rate in respect of other loans is being increased from 11% to 12%. These changes will take effect from 1 January 2007. The expected yield from this measure is €3 million in 2007 and €4 million in a full year.

REVIEW OF VAT ON PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS PUBLIC CONSULTATION The Revenue Commissioners, over the last two years, have carried out a review of the current system of applying VAT on property transactions. The review recommends significant changes to the system. The complexity of this area of taxation needs to be addressed, but given its importance, it is planned to engage in a wide consultation process with interested parties before deciding on any changes which might appropriately be implemented in the 2008 Finance Act. Further information, including an invitation for submissions from interested parties, will be made available by mid-December on the Department of Finance’s website, and on the Revenue Commissioner’s website,

FARMER TAXATION FARMERS’ VAT FLAT-RATE ADDITION The farmers’ VAT flat-rate addition is being increased from 4.8% to 5.2% with effect from 1 January 2007. The flat-rate is designed to recoup non-VAT registered farmers for the VAT they incur on their inputs. The cost of this measure is estimated to be €13.5 million in 2007, and €16 million in a full year.

LIVESTOCK VAT RATE The rate of VAT charged by registered farmers and other businesses on the supply of livestock, live greyhounds and the hire of horses remains unchanged at 4.8%.

FARMER STOCK RELIEF The existing general 25 per cent stock relief for farmers and the special incentive stock relief of 100 per cent for certain young trained farmers are being extended from 1 January 2007 for a further two years subject to clearance with the European Commission under State aid rules. The cost of this measure is estimated to be approximately €2 million in 2007 and in a full year.

LEASED LAND EXEMPTION STAMP DUTY STAMP DUTY ON MORTGAGE DEEDS Mortgage deeds, as with many legal documents, are liable to stamp duty (this is a separate stamp duty from that which is applied to the conveyance of property). Primary mortgages are currently exempt up to the value of €254,000, and those at higher values are subject to stamp duty of 0.1% subject to a maximum duty of €630 whether in respect of residential or nonresidential property. The duty currently applied to collateral or additional mortgages is generally a €12.50 fixed duty and in the case of equitable mortgages and transfers of mortgages, generally 0.05%, subject to a maximum of €630. The stamp duty head of charge for mortgages is being abolished for mortgage deeds executed on or after 7 December 2006. The cost of abolishing the mortgage head of charge is estimated at €20m in 2007 and in a full year.

Certain tax exemptions apply for income derived from certain leases of farmland. From 1 January 2007, a new exemption of €20,000 per annum will be introduced for leases of 10 years or more duration. This measure is subject to clearance with the European Commission under State aid rules. The cost of this measure is estimated to be about €0.5 million in 2007 and €1 million in a full year.

SCHEME OF CAPITAL ALLOWANCES FOR MILK QUOTA The scheme of capital allowances for milk quota is being amended to ensure this relief is available for quota purchased under the new Milk Quota Trading System. This measure is expected to be broadly Exchequer neutral.

EXTENSION OF STAMP DUTY RELIEF FOR FARM CONSOLIDATION Stamp duty relief for exchanges of farmland between two farmers for the purposes of

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consolidating each farmer’s holdings was introduced on 1 July 2005 for a period of two years. The relief is being extended for a further two years to 30 June 2009. The relief will also be extended to qualifying exchanges of land where only one farmer is consolidating his/her holding. In such cases both farmers can qualify for relief, provided both farmers meet all other conditions of the relief. These changes will be included in the 2007 Finance Bill. However, commencement of these changes will be dependent on State Aid approval from the European Commission. The cost of extending this relief is estimated to be €0.4m in 2007 and €0.6m in subsequent years.

CHANGES TO THE STAMP DUTY RELIEF FOR YOUNG TRAINED FARMERS Stamp duty relief is available for farmers acquiring land, who are aged under 35 and have specific agricultural training. Amendments are now being made to the education criteria and refunds procedure in this relief. Firstly, the FETAC Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Agriculture will become the new minimum education requirement from 31 March 2008; secondly, the qualifying third-level course titles are being updated; and finally, the refunds procedure is being simplified. The changes being made to the refunds procedure are as follows:

* the time limit within which young trained farmers can complete their education following the transfer is being extended from 3 to 4 years,

prior to disposal. The relief is now being extended, in certain circumstances, to disposals of land where the land had been leased prior to disposal. In order for such disposals to qualify under the relief, the following three conditions must be met: (a) the land in question must have been leased for no longer than 5 years prior to disposal, (b) the land must have been owned and used by the farmer for ten years prior to the initial letting of the land and (c) the land must be disposed of to the person who was leasing the land. These changes will be included in the 2007 Finance Bill.

These changes will be included in the 2007 Finance Bill. The costs of these changes are not expected to be significant.

CAPITAL GAINS TAX RETIREMENT RELIEF – DISPOSALS OF LEASED LAND An exemption from CGT applies in the case of individuals aged 55 and over who dispose of qualifying business or farming assets. In order for a farming asset to qualify under the relief it must have been owned and used for farming purposes for at least ten years

The VAT registration thresholds for small businesses are being increased from €27,500 to €35,000 in the case of services, and from €55,000 to €70,000 in the case of goods. These increases will take effect from 1 March 2007. This will reduce the administrative burden for small businesses and the Revenue authorities. It could remove some 8,000 companies from the VAT net.



CAT agricultural relief provides relief from CAT on 90% of the value of a gift or inheritance. In order to qualify for the relief, 80% of a farmer’s total assets (after receipt of the gift/inheritance) must consist of qualifying agricultural assets. Off-farm principal private residences are not considered such assets for the purposes of this relief. This provision is now being amended so that an individual may off-set borrowings on an off-farm principal private residence against the property’s value, for the purpose of the 80% test. These changes will be included in the 2007 Finance Bill. It is not possible to estimate the cost of this measure but the cost should not be significant.

The annual VAT cash accounting threshold for small firms is being increased from €635,000 to €1,000,000 with effect from 1 March 2007. This will simplify administration and reduce working capital requirements. This measure will result in an estimated onceoff cash flow cost of €35 million in 2007.

LESS FREQUENT VAT RETURNS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES The frequency of VAT payments, currently six per year, for smaller businesses is being reduced with effect from July 2007. For businesses with a yearly liability of €3,000 or less, the option of filing returns on a half-yearly basis will be available. For businesses with a yearly liability between €3,001 and €14,400, the option of filing returns every four months will be available. This will reduce compliance costs for the firms in question. This measure will result in an estimated onceoff cash flow cost of €49 million in 2007.

* the requirement that the refund claim

trained farmer is required to retain and farm the land will commence from the date of the claim for refund.


The cost of this measure is estimated to be €35 million in 2007 and €53 million in a full year.

minimum education attainments at the date of transfer is being abolished,

* the 5 year period during which a young


It is not possible to estimate the cost of this measure but the cost should not be significant.

* the current requirement for specific

be made within 6 months of qualification is also being abolished, and


BUDGET GAINS FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS WIPED OUT - AUCTIONEERS IPAV said the Budget changes for first-time buyers have been wiped out already by the recent ECB interest rate increase and the expected increase next year. Chief Executive, Fintan McNamara, said when combined, both rates would neutralise any gains for first-time buyers before the Budget changes are even implemented. “For most first-time buyers, the financial situation will be the same as it was before the Budget,” he said. “There is no real gain for those who either wish to get onto the property ladder or for those already living in their first home.” Mr McNamara said he very much regretted the Minister for Finance’s failure to tackle Stamp Duty reform in the Budget.

“The elimination of Stamp Duty on second-hand homes for all first-time buyers would not have caused house prices to rise significantly given that the market has stabilised in recent months. “If the Minister had combined the mortgage interest relief measure with a doubling of the current tax relief on the Rent-a-Room scheme, for example, he would have encouraged young people to purchase in areas where there are already schools and other facilities,” he said. “It is regrettable that the Minster chose not to do so.” Mr McNamara said he hoped Mr Cowen might consider including this measure in the upcoming Finance Bill.

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Jim Power

The economic and fiscal background against which Budget 2007 was framed was as good as any Finance Minister could ever expect to have. The economy is continuing to grow at close to its maximum potential, and is generating huge financial resources. Consequently, the biggest quandary facing Mr. Cowen in his preparation of this year’s budget was not how much he would actually give away in spending increases and tax reductions, but rather where he would direct the resources. In the event he chose to spread a lot of money relatively thinly over a lot of different areas. Most people will end up slightly better off, but very few significantly so. In relation to the housing market, Mr. Cowen was under quite a bit of pressure to do something substantial to ease the plight of first-time buyers in particular. There was a strong lobby from some quarters to do something significant in relation to the punitive stamp duty regime facing first-time buyers. Those who were looking for something substantial will be bitterly disappointed by the complete failure to alter the punitive regime, but at least he did something meaningful in relation to mortgage interest relief for first time buyers. While there will be some disappointment within the housing industry with the overall thrust of housing policy in the Budget, the really important thing is that the budgetary stance will ensure that the economic environment should remain healthy during 2007 and this should continue to drive and support vibrant levels of activity across the housing sector.

ECONOMIC & FISCAL BACKGROUND TO BUDGET 2007 The most important factor in determining the success or otherwise of a budget is the economic environment in which it unfolds. A downturn in the economic cycle could blow the budgetary parameters off course very easily, in the same way that the

stronger than expected growth in recent years has consistently delivered better than forecast budgetary numbers. The good news is that this budget has been framed against a very positive economic and financial background, and more importantly, the key economic assumptions underlying the budget look realistic. GDP is projected to expand by 5.25% in 2007, which would represent another strong outturn if achieved. Given the very expansionary nature of the budget, it is difficult to argue with this forecast, provided the external environment remains positive. In this regard, the key risk factors in 2007 will undoubtedly revolve around the ailing US housing market and the potential to cause serious damage to the US economy and the dollar. There is not a lot any Irish government can do directly to influence the external risk factors, but policy makers should seek to ensure that the domestic environment remains as favourable and competitive as possible. The international context in which Ireland is now operating is becoming more challenging with the ongoing loss of cost competitiveness, growing international competition, and pressures on the manufacturing base all important factors to bear in mind. In this context, it is not clear that Budget 2007 has done much to enhance the competitiveness of the economy. The overall stance of fiscal policy will be very expansionary in 2007, due to a combination of strong growth in spending and a generous tax giveaway and this will undoubtedly put further pressures on the cost environment for business and the general cost of living. Notwithstanding these reservations, the economic environment in 2007 should still be supportive of the housing market.

HOUSING MARKET BACKGROUND TO BUDGET 2007 Despite lots of negativity and media speculation, activity in the Irish housing market was very vibrant in 2006. In the 10 month period to the end of October, Continued on page 8


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Continued from page 6 mortgage lending expanded by €20.1 billion, compared to €16.3 billion in the first 10 months of 2005. House prices are likely to increase by over 12% for the full year and completions will set another record level of close to 95,000. However not surprisingly against a background of record levels of housing supply, rising interest rates, and uncertainty about the future Stamp Duty regime, the market has been displaying some signs of slowing down in recent months. Price inflation is decelerating, the auction market has lost considerable momentum, and private treaty sales are taking longer to execute. This is symptomatic of a market that is moving towards a position of equilibrium. In addition, affordability is starting to deteriorate, particularly for heavily mortgaged first-time buyers, due to rising interest rates.

time buyers, as will to a limited extent the lesser changes for non first-time buyers. It was a pity that Mr. Cowen did not use the resources at his disposal to fundamentally reform the Stamp Duty regime because a better opportunity might not present itself again. Resources are plentiful and the growing price resistance from first-time buyers should have ensured that Stamp Duty reductions would not translate into higher house price inflation. Clearly, the Minister was not convinced and obviously values highly the resources he collects from the very punitive and unfair Stamp Duty regime.

desirable outcome because, given the inordinate dependence of the Irish economy on residential housing activity, the strong growth in mortgage credit and house price inflation in recent years, a hard landing for the housing market would cause serious financial and economic difficulties. Such a hard landing does not appear likely. There is still a lot of fundamental demand in the market, due to the young age profile of the growing population and the strong levels of inward migration. These factors will remain important drivers of housing demand in 2007 and beyond. In addition the economic

BUDGET 2007 AND THE HOUSING MARKET Given the very heavy dependence of the Irish economy and the exchequer finances on the construction sector in general and the housing market in particular, it was always important from Mr Cowen’s perspective that he would do nothing in the Budget that might de-stabilise the market. In the run up to the Budget there were numerous calls on the Minister to restructure the punitive Stamp Duty regime in order to improve affordability for first-time buyers and enhance mobility in the market. The key pre-budget suggestions revolved around a significant easing, if not a complete abolition of the burden of Stamp Duty on first time buyers, and a reduction in Stamp Duty rates in order to encourage greater housing market and general economic mobility. Mr. Cowen and his officials are obviously paranoid about the possibility that any changes to stamp duties would just fuel further house price inflation and merely transfer money from the government coffers into the pockets of house vendors. Hence the complete failure to make any changes. At a bare minimum, he should at least have expanded the various stamp duty thresholds in line with projected house price inflation. The decision to actually focus in on mortgage interest relief for first-time buyers clearly reflects a belief amongst the Minister’s advisers that such measures would be likely to have least effect on house prices and do most to ease the burden on heavily mortgaged first-time buyers in the short to medium term. The doubling of the relief will certainly ease some of the pressures on first


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THE MARKET IN 2007 Looking ahead to 2007, the economic, labour market and earnings environment should be supportive of housing activity. House prices nationally are likely to increase by around 5% in 2007, down from over 12% in 2006, while completions are likely to ease back towards 85,000. The housing market now appears to be on the way to achieving a soft landing. This would be the most

environment should remain favourable, helped by the expansionary nature of Budget 2007. On the negative side, interest rates could rise by another 0.5% during 2007, but this negative should be offset by the maturing SSIAs, the strong growth in wages and the limited housing-related measures included in the budget. The coming year should be characterised once again by relatively vibrant levels of activity, but probably not quite as buoyant as in 2006.

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IPAV SIGNS FORMAL PARTNERSHIP WITH DAFT.IE IPAV recently signed a formal partnership agreement with leading property website to license the company's awardwinning property search engine. The state of the art search engine technology developed by has been integrated into the newly-launched website and will allow 800+ IPAV auctioneers to promote their clients’ properties online at both and

said Eamonn Fallon, Director, IPAV President Seán Mason said the partnership with marked another new milestone in the growth and development of IPAV and he looked forward to growing the relationship in the months ahead. is Ireland's biggest property website, with the largest selection of residential property for sale in Ireland. It is also the

primary online destination for commercial, overseas and residential property to let. In May, 2006, was independently certified by the Audit Bureau of Circulation as being the busiest website in Ireland. The audit confirmed that had requests for 27.6 million pages of information (Page Impressions) in May 2006, ahead of other well-known sites including; (22 million, May 06), (22 million, January 06) and (18 million, October 05)

The new IPAV website already has over 8,000 properties for sale across Ireland, making it one of the top five property websites in Ireland. itself was recently certified as Ireland's number 1 property website by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABCE). As part of the deal, IPAV auctioneers will get access to Daft's huge audience of property buyers at special partnership rates. The technology created by for IPAV has won awards worldwide, the most recent from the UN World Summit Award for eBusiness, for its ease of use and innovative use of technology. “Now IPAV auctioneers can advertise their properties on both and their own website with just one or two clicks. Our system is extremely simple to use and should save auctioneers 100's of man hours a month.”


Dún Laoghaire auctioneer Robert Downey recently received the outstanding student achievement award from Senior College. Robert graduated from SCD in 1995 gaining valuable experience from Gunne's auctioneers. He set up his first practice in May 2001 and currently owns two property franchises with Dooley’s Auctioneers in Dun Laoghaire and in


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Pictured at the announcement of the new partnership with IPAV are Eamonn Fallon Director, and and Seán Mason, President, IPAV


Bray. He achieved the Outstanding Achievement Award not just for his personal and professional success, but for the fact that he is very loyal to the College. He takes students on work experience on a regular basis and currently employs three exgraduates in his business.

The President, National Council and Staff of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers have expressed their deepest sympathy to former President and Senator Willie Farrell on the death of his wife Breda.

Robert has also visited the College on numerous occasions to give professional talks in the area of Auctioneering and Estate Agency.

Breda died after a short illness in the Mater Hospital, Dublin on Friday, October 20. She was buried after Funeral Mass in Our Mother of Divine Grace Church, Ballygall Road in St Fintan’s Cemetery, Sutton. Suaimhneas siorai dá hanam.

Robert Downey is pictured above with the Minister for Education & Science, Mary Hanafin TD, IPAV President Sean Mason and Gabriel Dooley, Dooley Auctioneers. Cecilia O’Flaherty

IPAV has also extended sincere sympathy to the family and friends of the late Daragh Farrell (32) a native of Tivoli, Cork City who died

in October following a tragic road accident. Daragh, originally from Ballyagran, Co. Limerick studied auctioneering and estate agency at Cork College of Commerce and graduated from the University of Glamorgan in 1997. Having worked in London with property consultant agency Neilson Bakewell, he returned to Cork four years ago and set up his own insurance claims business as well as working in the family property business. He was also a successful web designer. Daragh was buried in St James Cemetery on the Cork to Bandon Road. Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam.

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IPAV students taking the final year of the BSc (Hons) Real Estate Valuation and Management Degree at the University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE) recently took part in a week long visit to Leipzig Germany as part of the Module European Estate Management.

IPAV Bristol students in Leipzig Central Football Station

Students at the entrance to Colditz Castle

Leipzig has the highest population in the German State of Saxony with approximately 500,000 inhabitants. During the visit the students spent a day at the University of Leipzig, Germany’s second oldest University, where they worked with German Real Estate Students comparing property sector issues in Bristol and Dublin to those in Leipzig. In the evening the student ascended the highest building in Leipzig to appreciate the layout of the city this was follow by an evening get together in ‘Moritzbastei’, the biggest student club in Europe located in the 400 year old cellars of the old town fortifications. Leipzig was part of the former East Germany and is modernising fast with major infrastructure and other works taking place. It claims to have Europe’s largest railway station with its 28 metre-long reception building. The station also has enclosed retail space of about 30,000 sq. metres containing 140 shops and 12,000 sq. metres of office space. The city centre has some 180,000 sq. m of retail sales area with Petersstrasse, Garmmaischestrasse and Markt Hainstrasse and adjoining streets being the most popular.

NOVA EVENTIS The main out-of-town shopping centre, Nova Eventis, lies 16km to the west of the city. This started life after reunification as Saale Park when land use planning was in its infancy and therefore gave the appearance of an adhoc development meeting the immediate needs of the former East Germans’ desire for western goods.


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Since then with €170 million spent on refurbishment and a change of name, its appearance and retail experience is now on a par with similar centres in the UK and Ireland. As well as containing major retailers, it also has a focus on leisure and entertainment. To the north of the city is the new trade fair centre ‘Neue Messe’ situated by the main Leipzig Autobahn exit and adjacent to the other main out-of-town retail centre known as Sachsen Park. The ‘Paunsdorf Centre’, a shopping mall is also located outside the city close to the highway A14 Dresden-Halle. The mall has more than 120 shops and parking lots are exempt from charges. Although Leipzig suffered some bombing during the last war, it was not on the scale inflicted on cities such as Cologne and Dresden, therefore much of its historic buildings remain. St Nicholas Church in the centre of the city will be remembered for ever as the church where the candlelit peace prayers were held, together with the subsequent demonstrations in 1989 that led to the changes in East Germany and reunification. The Church of St Thomas is also well visited as Johann Sebastian Bach was the choirmaster there from 1723 to 1750. The students also visited Dresden as it contains the State Parliament for the State of Saxony and part of their studies requires them to understand different European Unions Countries National, Regional and Local Government Structures. They also took the opportunity to visit the recently restored “Frauenkirche” which was badly damaged during the last war and has been rebuilt with the help of people from many countries.

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out without affecting the tunnels and other evidence of the prisoners past activities. These tunnels can be seen as can the tools they used to construct them and other items they created to assist their escape including documents.

Colditz Castle

Students also visited Colditz Castle which is about 30Km south east of Leipzig which housed 1,500 allied officer prisoners of war from 1941 to 1945.

One of the current problems that Leipzig faces is the decline in population due to some residents seeking better employment opportunities further west. However, with the infrastructure projects now taking place and the fact that Berlin, the Federal Capital, is not that far away, it may be possible to control this migration, particularly if the economy picks up and the leisure type of developments that are now taking place such as Belantis satisfy local needs. Belantis Park covers an area of 25 hectares including 60,000 square metres of water and a four kilometre circular walk which takes visitors on a journey through time. Several old opencast mines are being turned into water activity areas with attractive landscaping.

The castle was made famous by Major Pat Reid’s book about prison life at the castle and the subsequent films about the various escape attempts. The castle is currently a tourist attraction and additional works of renovation are now taking place including the provision of a youth hostel and other facilities. These works are being carried

Staff and students alike were impressed with the tram system, particularly as the hotel room card covered the trams and therefore no buying of tickets was necessary. They also worked with Germans on a similar programme who could speak good English and were in contact with them via e-mail prior to and after the visit.


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GOOD TURNOUT FOR AUTUMN SEMINARS There was a large attendance at each of the three Autumn Seminars organized by IPAV in Dublin, Cork and Galway. Topics covered included the implications of the new Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and commercial and residential lettings.

Paula Rice, Programme Manager with Sustainable Energy Ireland outlined the implications of the EPBD which starts to come into effect on January 1 while barrister Ruth Cannon gave a lecture on the implications of commercial lettings. IPAV CEO Fintan McNamra gave an update on the operation of the Private Residential Tenancies Board.

Gareth Williams, CBRE, Dublin; Eugene Dooley, Dooley Poynton, Wicklow and Michelle McCarthy, Dooley Poynton, Wicklow were at the IPAV Seminar in UCD on October 16. Peter Mills, Peter Mills Ltd., Arklow; Michael Kennedy, Peter Mills Ltd and Paula Rice, Sustainable Energy Ireland at the UCD Seminar.

Aine Hussey and Evelyn Madden, Sherry FitzGerald Hussey Madden, Ennistymon, Co Clare at the IPAV Seminar in Galway. Eamonn Eames, Dublin and Susan Byrne, Dooley Auctioneers, DĂşn Laoghaire at the UCD Seminar.

Alan Loughrey, Business Vision, Galway and Ian Cahill, Sherry FitzGerald Farrell, Gort at the IPAV Galway Seminar.


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Chris Taaffe, Duffy Properties, Mullingar and Paddy Dunican, Paddy Dunican Auctioneers, Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath were at the IPAV Seminar in UCD.


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Some of the attendance at the IPAV Galway Seminar on November 6.

Tom Cullen, Cullen Auctioneers, Mountmellick, Alan Redmond, Swords, IPAV Vice-President and Gerry Duffy, Duffy Properties, Mullingar at the UCD Seminar.

Alison Mulvey and Fiona McGowan, Directors, Mason Estates and Sean Mason, IPAV President at the UCD Seminar.

John Tuohy and Noel Hogan of Tuohy Hogan, Whitegate, Co Clare were at the IPAV Seminar in Galway Mayo IT Seminar on November 6.

Paddy Flynn, Galway Real Estate Co. Ltd, Galway and Pat Finn, DNG Pat Finn, Ballinasloe at the IPAV Seminar in Galway Mayo IT.

Roisin Murphy, and Karen Hanley of Winters Property Management, Galway with Clive Casey, Ballinrobe at the IPAV Galway Seminar.

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Option 1 A landlord wishes to enter into separate letting agreements with each of multiple tenants sharing a single dwelling; a separate registration requirement together with a €70 fee arises in respect of each such tenancy created.

Option 2 A landlord lets a single dwelling to, or for occupation by, a specific number of people (whether some are selected by the initial tenant/s or all are selected by the landlord) under a single letting agreement; only one tenancy is created that requires to be registered.

REGISTERING OPTION 1 If an application is made in respect of some or all of the tenancies created on time (i.e. within one month of the commencement of each such tenancy) and at the same time, then the registration fee accompanying the set of applications (which should be stapled together) may be €300 as opposed to €70 per tenancy. If, in the next 12 months following the payment of that composite fee of €300, one of the tenancies included in the set of applications ends and a new tenancy is created (tenant leaves and is replaced by another), then the application to register the new tenancy does not have to be accompanied by a fee, provided it is made within one month of the commencement of the new letting. If the landlord applies to register some only of the tenancies in the one dwelling simultaneously and applies separately in relation to the remaining tenancies, then each of the subsequent applications has to be accompanied by a fee of €70, if the application is made within a month of the commencement of the tenancy concerned or €140 if later than that. Take a specific situation: Landlord of a large house in Rathgar Road enters into 22 separate letting agreements with 22 individuals in September 2006 on various dates between 2nd and 25th September. * Landlord applies to register 7 of these tenancies on 1st October 2006; the appropriate fee is €300.


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* Landlord applies to register a further 6 tenancies (the commencement date of which was after 15th September) on 11th October 2006; the appropriate fee is €300. * Landlord applies to register 3 further tenancies (commenced after 22nd September) on 22nd October 2006; the appropriate fee is €210 (3x€70). * Landlord applies to register the last 6 tenancies on 26th October 2006 (i.e. late); the appropriate fee is €840 (6x €140). The total fee payable in respect of the 22 tenancies is €1,650 and registration applications re any replacement tenancies are only fee exempt for the following 12 months where they relate to tenancies covered by the applications made on 1st and 11th October. If the landlord had submitted all 22 applications together before 2nd October 2006, then the appropriate fee would have been €300 in total. Furthermore, all applications to register replacement tenancies would be fee exempt for the following 12 months. Note: A landlord registering less than 5 tenancies of a single dwelling on time and at the same time may choose to accompany the applications (if stapled together) by the composite fee of €300 (even though this is a larger amount than the no. of tenancies x €70) if he/she wishes to avail of the 12 month fee exemption applying to subsequent registration applications in respect of the same tenancies covered by the composite fee.]

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REGISTERING OPTION 2 As the landlord enters into only one tenancy with some or all of the 22 individuals concerned, the landlord completes and submits one application form accompanied by a fee of €70, if the application is made within a month of the commencement of the tenancy concerned, or €140 if later than that. In these circumstances the tenants are usually jointly and severally liable for the obligations of the tenancy and if any of the original tenants stays for four years the registered tenancy will last four years.

Student Accommodation in Purpose Built Blocks Purpose-built student accommodation is generally intended to qualify for ‘section 50’ tax relief and if so, must comply with Guidelines for such accommodation issued by the Department of Education and Science. These guidelines require that the accommodation be occupied under lease and therefore the normal position would be that they all contain tenancies that require to be registered. If the accommodation is spread over a number of buildings or apartment blocks then the composite fee is only available per distinct building or block. It is also only available to multiple tenancies being simultaneously registered (within a month of their commencement) by a single landlord. This means that applications made by the accommodation management company on behalf of the various owners do not qualify for the composite fee. If the owners let their units to a single company and then that company lets all the units to the individual students then the company in registering the various sub-tenancies would be eligible to avail of the composite fee. . Examples re section 50 student accommodation consisting of 12 studio apartments in a single block on Collins Avenue owned by 10 separate individuals (Joe Bloggs owns 3): 1) Each apartment is let by the owner and the block is managed by College Management Ltd. CML are required to submit 12 application forms (of which 3 may be stapled together and accompanied by a composite fee of €300 if Joe Bloggs wants to acquire the 12 month fee exemption for subsequent registrations) and total fees of €840 (12x€70) or €930 (9x€70 + €300) assuming all applications are made within a month of the commencement of the various tenancies are payable. 2) Each owner lets his/her apartment to CLM (by lease containing a condition that the

apartment be sub-let to a student) and CLM sub-let to 12 individual students. CLM is required to apply to register the subtenancies between it and each student on 12 application forms (stapled together) accompanied by a composite fee of €300 assuming the applications are made within a month of the commencement of the various tenancies. Examples re section 50 student accommodation on Pearse Street consisting of 7 studio apartments and 7 three bedroom apartments in one building. X) The apartments are owned by 14 separate individuals and 14 leases are entered into by the owners with 28 students. Each owner is required to submit a registration application in respect of his/her tenancy accompanied by a fee of €70 assuming the application is made within a month of the commencement of the tenancy. The total registration fees payable in respect of the building are €980. Y) The apartments are owned and let by Tripos University on whose land they were built, are leased to 28 students and the building is managed by a property agent. As TU is a recognised educational institution in the State, no registration requirement arises by virtue of section 3(2)(c)(i) of the Residential Tenancies Act. Z) The apartments are owned by Tripos University, leased to College Management Ltd and sub-leased to 28 students. CML is required to apply to register the subtenancies between it and each student on 14 application forms (stapled together) accompanied by a composite fee of €300, assuming the applications are made within a month of the commencement of the various subtenancies. There is no obligation on TU to register the head-tenancies with CLM, again by virtue of section 3(2)(c)(i) of the Residential Tenancies Act. The above is merely a guideline and further clarification may be obtained from the PRTB as the registration process is proving much more complex than originally envisaged. Furthermore, in the event of a dispute arising with a tenant it is not possible to register a terminated tenancy. It is advisable always to have the registration form at hand for the tenant to sign in advance of taking up occupancy. The PRTB will not accept a form that is not signed by the tenant. If it comes to the attention of the revenue that a tenancy is unregistered they may disallow mortgage interest relief.

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This paper examines the circumstances in which a tenant can acquire a right to a new tenancy under Part 2 of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980, the procedure which must be followed in order to assert such a right and the nature of the new tenancy obtained. It also looks at the circumstances in which the right to a new tenancy may be excluded or restricted and the alternative remedy of compensation for disturbance which may be available to a tenant where their right to a new tenancy is denied.

PART 1: REQUIREMENTS NECESSARY BEFORE THE RIGHT TO A NEW TENANCY CAN ARISE The basic requirements which must be satisfied before a tenant can obtain the right to a new tenancy under the 1980 Act are set out in Part 2 of that Act and are as follows: 1. Tenancy (the person claiming the right to a new tenancy must be a tenant or former tenant of the premises in respect of which they are claiming the right to a new tenancy); 2. Tenement - The premises in question must be a tenement; 3. Equity - One of the “three equities” specified in Section 13 of the 1980 Act (business, long user or improvement equity) must be present.

1. TENANCY In order to claim the right to a new tenancy under the 1980 Act the claimant must be a current or former tenant of the premises. Although most permissive occupants of premises are tenants, this is not always the case. In National Maternity Hospital v McGouran [1994] 1 ILRM 521 Mrs McGouran occupied an area in Holles Street Hospital, which she used as a coffee shop. The terms of her occupation agreement with the hospital provided that the hospital authorities could enter the coffee shop at


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any time of the day or night without permission and were to be provided with a key for this purpose. It also provided that the coffee shop could be moved to another part of the premises if the hospital authorities so decided. In the circumstances Morris J held that Mrs McGouran was not a tenant, she was a contractual licensee only and was not entitled to rights under the 1980 Act. . The current position appears to be that, if an occupier is granted exclusive possession of property by its owner in return for an agreement to pay rent, the courts will regard that occupier as a tenant. The difficulty in Mrs McGouran’s case was that the terms of the agreement precluded exclusive possession on her part, insofar as they allowed her to be moved around the hospital and permitted the owner to enter her premises at will. In the contrasting case of Smith v CIE, unreported, High Court, Peart J, 9 October 2002, an occupier of the “Tara Nova” shop at Tara Street station was held to be a tenant because he was paying rent and had exclusive possession of the premises. Irish courts, in theory, also require “intention to create a landlord tenant relationship” before a tenancy can arise. This is a somewhat nebulous concept and at present appears to be found to be present where there is rent and exclusive possession, even if the agreement is specifically described as a licence rather than a tenancy. At the moment, following Smith v CIE, most permissive occupiers will be tenants and as such potentially able to avail of rights under the 1980 Act. However, it should not be automatically assumed that an occupier is a tenant without checking the terms of the occupation agreement under which that occupier holds the property, in order to make sure that exclusive possession is granted and rent required. It is debatable whether or not a caretaker’s agreement can give rise to a tenancy since it normally does not involve periodic payments in the sense of rent. However, if it does it would normally be excluded from the

scope of the 1980 Act, insofar as it is a letting depending on the continuance of employment as set out in Section 5(1) below.

2. TENEMENT The operation of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 is confined to “tenements” only. This term is defined in Section 5(1) of the 1980 Act as premises consisting of land covered wholly or partly by buildings or of a defined portion of a building, or if consisting of land covered in part only by buildings, the portion of the land not so covered is subsidiary or ancillary to the buildings. In other words, in order for property to be a tenement there must be buildings on the land and any unbuilt on land must be subsidiary and ancillary to the buildings.

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a. Building The term “building” is given a fairly generous interpretation by the courts. In O’Reilly v Kevans (1935) 69 ILTR 1 a dilapidated shed roofed with corrugated iron sheeting was held to be a building. It is not necessary that a structure has foundations in the ground in order for it to be a building for the purposes of Section 5. Ramshackle sheds without foundations used for a motor repair business have been held sufficient: Dursley v Watters [1993] 1 IR 224. In Mason v Leavy [1952] IR 40 an underground concrete well for a petrol storage tank was held to be a building, despite the fact that it was underground and did not have a roof.

b. Subsidiary and ancillary In relation to the requirement that unbuilt on land be subsidiary and ancillary to the building, this is usually determined by looking at the activity carried on on the unbuilt on land and the activity carried on in the building and determining which one is subsidiary and ancillary to the other: Terry v Stokes [1993] 1 IR 204. A garden of up to 1 acre is normally subsidiary and ancillary to the house to which it is attached. A car park primarily used by employees and visitors to a building would normally be subsidiary and ancillary to that building. However, farmland could not be regarded as subsidiary and ancillary to a farmhouse or farm buildings. The effect of this is to exclude agricultural land (including the farmhouse) from the scope of the 1980 Act. In order for the right to a new tenancy to arise the entirety of the un-built on land, the subject of the tenancy must be subsidiary and ancillary to the buildings.

the continuance of any office, employment or appointment Lettings made for or dependent on the continuance in any office, employment or appointment of the person taking the letting are also expressly excluded from the definition of tenement.

3. EQUITY In addition to the requirements of tenancy and tenement, the applicant for a new tenancy must also show one of the following three equities: a.

business equity


long occupation equity (20 years)


improvement equity (1/2 the letting value of the property must be due to improvements)

a. Business Equity In order to claim business equity the tenant must show that he has been in occupation of the premises and carrying on a business in the premises for the five years immediately prior to the determination of his lease or tenancy. The period of business equity used to be 3 years only but was increased to 5 years by the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1994. The three year period still applies where the tenant’s prior lease or tenancy commenced prior to the coming into force of the 1994 Act in August 1994. The term “business” is defined as including any trade, profession or business, whether or

not it is carried on for gain or reward. It includes bodies providing cultural, educational, social or sporting services. It also includes the public service, health boards and harbour authorities Part-time business user is sufficient. In Plant v Oakes [1991] 1 IR 185 a tenant of a house was held to have engaged in a business user of that house by reason of the fact that his wife did the accounts for his garage business on the dining room table of that house on a number of occasions every year. However it should be noted that a business carried on in breach of a covenant in a lease is not sufficient for the purposes of qualification under the 1980 Act; M50 Motors v O’’Byrne [2003] 1 ILRM 275. Therefore, landlords of residential property who are concerned about part-time business use entitling a tenant to rights under the 1980 Act are free to insert a clause in their lease prohibiting such business use and this will be sufficient to stop business equity arising. Such a clause is arguably implied in leases of residential property in any case under Section 16 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. Generally speaking, in order to qualify for business equity the business in question, whether full-time or part-time, must have been carried on continuously during the five years prior to the determination of the previous tenancy. However, Section 13 provides that a temporary break in the use of the tenement as a business may be disregarded for this purpose.

c. Not a temporary convenience letting Temporary convenience lettings are excluded from the definition of tenement. Describing a letting as a temporary convenience letting is a device often used by landlords to take premises outside the scope of the Act. However, it is actually quite difficult for a letting to qualify as a temporary convenience letting for the purposes of Section 5. In order for this to occur, the letting must be (a)

expressly stated to be a temporary convenience letting


genuinely made for the temporary convenience of the lessor or lessee and


the nature of the temporary convenience must be stated.

d. Not a letting made for or dependent on

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It appears, however, that occupation by the tenant must have been continuous throughout the five years; therefore if the tenant goes out of occupation, even for a relatively short period, this would appear to preclude his right to a new tenancy. Twil v Kearney, unreported, SC, 28 June 2001 deals with the question of whether or not occupation by sub-tenants or licensees of a tenant is sufficient for the purposes of Section 13. In that case the Supreme Court held that occupation by a licensee of the tenant in return for the payment of a licence fee might be sufficient business user to entitle that tenant to business equity. However, occupation by a sub-tenant in return for rent does not constitute business user by the head-tenant, although if the sub-tenant is himself carrying on a business, he or she may be entitled to a right to a new tenancy under the 1980 Act, on its own account.

b. Long Occupation Equity 20 years occupation of the premises (whether or not a business is carried on) is sufficient to entitle the tenant to a new tenancy. Again, the occupation must be continuous and a break in occupation would appear to preclude the tenant from qualifying under this ground. However, merely going away on holidays, to hospital etc. would not be a break in occupation if the tenant leaves his/her belongings in the premises.

PART 2: EXCLUSIONS AND RESTRICTIONS ON THE RIGHT TO A NEW TENANCY Exclusions The following properties are excluded from the scope of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980: local authority premises, unless used for business and leases by the State. Leases in the Custom House Dock area were originally excluded but this exclusion was curtailed to some extent by the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1989.

Section 17(1) The right to a new tenancy is also restricted in three different categories of situations. The first category relates to those situations listed in Section 17(1) of the Act which essentially involve fault on the part of the tenant. No compensation is payable where the tenancy has been determined on account of any of these situations. - Where the tenancy has been terminated by the landlord due to non payment of rent - Where the tenancy has been terminated by the landlord for breach of covenant - Where the tenancy has been terminated by the tenant - Where the tenancy has been terminated by the landlord or the landlord refuses to renew the tenancy for good and sufficient reason

c. Improvement Euity If the tenant has carried out improvements to the premises which have doubled the rental value of same, this may also entitle the tenant to a new tenancy. The works carried out must be improvements within the meaning of Section 45 of the 1980 Act, namely any addition to or alteration of the buildings comprised in the tenement and including any structure erected on the tenement which is ancillary or subsidiary to those buildings. The term also includes the installation in the tenement of conduits for the supply of water, gas or electricity but does not include work consisting only of repairing, painting and decorating, or any of them. In addition to this, if the improvements are to entitle the tenant to a new tenancy they must have led to a significant increase in the rental value of the premises. One half of the rental value of the premises at the date of termination of the previous tenancy must have been attributable to the improvements.


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Section 17(2) The other situations where the right to a new tenancy is restricted are set out in Section 17(2). However, asserting Section 17(2) carries a risk: the landlord is liable to pay compensation for disturbance to a business tenant whose right to a new tenancy has been restricted on any of these grounds. The compensation payable is the measure of “pecuniary loss, damage or expense” which the tenant sustains or incurs or will sustain or incur, by reason of quitting his tenement and which is the direct consequence of that quitting: Paidas Currency v Baileboro Spring Water Co Ltd, Buckley J, Circuit Court, 2000.

- Where the landlord intends to rebuild/reconstruct the building and has planning permission - Where the landlord wants to carry out a scheme of development and has planning permission

- Where the landlord is a local authority and wants the property for any purpose for which it has compulsory purchase rights - Where the creation of a new tenancy would be inconsistent with good estate management Jones v Luke Gardiner Ltd, CC, Dunne J, Unreported, 17/05/99

Renunciation by office tenant under the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1994 A new category of restriction was created by the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1994. This allows tenants of premises which are required by the tenancy to be used solely and exclusively as an office to execute, prior to the commencement of their tenancy, a renunciation renouncing their right to a new tenancy on determination of same. The Act expressly states that the tenant must be given independent legal advice prior to executing the renunciation. No compensation is payable where a tenant’s right to a new tenancy is excluded on this basis. The difficulty in relation to this restriction is its limited scope – the terms of the lease or tenancy must specifically provide for the use of the premises solely and exclusively as an office.

Renunciation by residential tenant under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 provided for renunciations by residential tenants of their right to a new tenancy. Unlike business premises, a renunciation under Section 191 does not have to be executed prior to the commencement of the tenancy and can be executed while it is ongoing. In addition Section 192 provides that no occupation equity can accrue after September 2009 in respect of residential tenants. The only residential tenants who need to execute renunciations, therefore, are those who have already acquired 20 years occupation equity or will acquire it before September 2009.

PART 3: PROCEDURE FOR ASSERTING RIGHT TO A NEW TENANCY a. Notice of Intention The applicant for the new tenancy must serve a notice of intention to claim relief on the landlord and any superior lessor. The Notice may be served at any time during the tenancy or indeed following its determination. In the case of a tenancy determined by notice to quit, the Notice of Intention should be served within three months of the service of the notice to quit. In the case of a fixed term tenancy determined by effluxion of time, not only

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must the fixed term expire but the landlord must also serve a notice of termination before time will start to run against the tenant for the purposes of serving a Notice of Intention. The court has the power to extend these time periods by application, on motion and such extension is generally granted. In the case of a periodic tenancy, although it is possible to serve a notice of Intention before the tenancy has come to an end, it is not possible to have the question of entitlement to a new tenancy determined by the court until the landlord has served notice to quit determining the periodic tenancy: Mealiffe v Walsh [1986] IR 427 ;Twil v Kearney, unreported, Supreme Court , 28th June 2001. In the case of fixed term tenancies, however, the court can adjudicate on the entitlement to a new tenancy before the existing fixed term tenancy has ended.

court one month after the service of a Notice of Intention to Claim Relief. The court application is made in the Circuit Court by way of Landlord and Tenant Civil Bill. If the tenant does not bother to apply the landlord can himself bring a Landlord and Tenant Civil Bill to have the matter determined but must wait three months after the receipt of the Notice of Intention before doing so.


any goodwill The tenant is given an allowance for improvements which takes off such proportion of rent as is attributable to improvements made by the tenant or his predecessors. Because the new tenancy, if granted, runs from the date of determination of the previous tenancy or lease, the current practice on the Dublin Circuit, at least,is to take the date of determination of the previous tenancy or lease as the appropriate date for the purposes of assessing the rent.

20 years, in the case of a tenancy acquired by business equity unless the tenant requests a lesser period. Note this restriction only applies where the previous lease or tenancy commenced after 1995.

The terms of the new tenancy (see below) may be taken into account in assessing the rent (e.g. if it is a full repairing and insuring lease the rent is likely to be less than under a lease which requires the landlord to insure and repair.

35 years, in the case of a tenancy acquired by long occupation or improvement equity.

The court will expect comparisons with other premises in the locality.

b. Landlord and Tenant Civil Bill

b. Rent

A tenant who has served notice of intention to claim relief can stay in occupation until the question of his new tenancy has been determined by court.

The rent payable shall be the gross rent, the rent which a willing lessee not already in occupation would give and a willing lessor will take for the tenement, having regard to the terms of the tenancy and the letting values of tenements but without regard to

The landlord and tenant are entitled to a regular review of the rent under Section 15 of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act, 1984.

The tenant has the right to apply to the

THE IRISH HOMEBUYER’S GUIDE TO SNAGGING! Whether it’s a popped nail or a wall that’s out of alignment, The Irish Homebuyer’s Guide to Snagging by John Boyle tells you how to identify the snag and what action you should take to remedy it. This book is a ‘must’ for the prospective home owner, estate agent, investor, landlord, architect, surveyor, banker, engineer, builder, plumber, painter and carpenter or indeed anybody interested in developing, renovating, buying or selling property. It is illustrated in colour throughout and has a universal snag list in the appendix as well as an online version of the snag list at which readers can complete and mail to their builder directly. The book will save any home-buyer time, energy and money. The author John Boyle has extensive experience working in commercial, business and residential construction as well as in renovation and restoration work. The Irish Home Buyer’s Guide to Snagging is the first in a series of guides and manuals and was released nationwide in October at a retail price of €9.99. For further information e-mail

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WARNING AGAINST UNFAIR WITHHOLDING OF DEPOSITS Investors, managing agents and auctioneers have been cautioned against withholding deposits from tenants without providing adequate grounds. The caution was issued by IPAV’s Chief Executive following the appointment in the UK of a deposit retention scheme to run from next April. Under the scheme all tenancy deposits will no longer be held by private landlords or their agents. Fintan McNamara, who is also a Board member of the Private Residential Tenancies Board, said the new scheme was yet another cost to be borne by landlords and agents in the new regulatory environment. Here the PRTB, which mediates in all disputes between landlords and tenants, has had to deal with a substantial level of disputes related to deposit retention by agents and landlords While landlords in most instances can stand over the withholding of the entire or some of the deposit there is growing unease at the

number of cases of deposits being withheld from tenants without justification.. Mr McNamara said agents and landlords should familiarise themselves thoroughly with the legal grounds on which deposits can be withheld and to use the resources of the PRTB to act in a correct manner. He pointed out Section 16 (f) of the Residential Tenancies Act as being of relevance in this instance. He noted that only vouched expenses to cover damage beyond ordinary wear and tear are allowed “If Irish agents and landlords don’t act in accordance with the rules set down by the PRTB, then we could be facing a similar scenario to the UK where all deposits would be held by a central board. Such a development will bring yet another unnecessary cost and headache to property managers and agents and investors,” he added. The Residential Tenancies Act, 2004, is to be significantly amended in the New Year to tighten up a number of loopholes.

The Graduation Ceremony for the Senior College, Dún Laoghaire took place on Friday, November 10 where the Minister for Education & Science, Mary Hanafin TD and IPAV President Sean Mason were the Guests of Honour. Back Row ( L to R): Barry Wilson; Stephen Fagan; Keith Brennan; John Cairns; Tom O'Higgins and Patricia Daly Middle Row ( L – R): Victoria McCracken; Maurice O'Sullivan; Justin O'Brien; Therese McCullagh-Melia; Lisa Maguire; Aishling Hassett and Michelle McDermott Front Row ( L - to R): Colleen O'Brien; Mairead Monaghan; Mary Hanafin TD, Minister for Education & Science; Sean Mason, IPAV President; Myles Pollard and Fergal Finnegan


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NATIONAL CONSUMER AGENCY PUBLISHES REPORT INTO PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANIES The National Consumer Agency published a report into the property management sector in October, the first of its kind to be published in Ireland. Entitled ‘Management Fees and Service Charges Levied on Owners of Property in Multi-Unit Dwellings’, the report examines the sector and makes key recommendations for its regulation and for the protection of consumer interests. The NCA also produced a booklet, entitled ‘Property Management Companies and You’, a consumer friendly guide which outlines how management companies and agents work and provides advice on how best to deal with them. The report, which was undertaken by DKM Economic Consultants and Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors on behalf of the NCA, found that the new property management industry is currently unregulated, leading to a misunderstanding of the roles and responsibilities of its various players. This in turn leaves people living in apartments and multi unit developments vulnerable as there is a lack of transparency when it comes to determining the level of service charges and how they are to be spent. It also has implications for consumers regarding lengthy delays in the transfer of control of complexes by developers.

“With an estimated half a million multi-unit dwellers in Ireland, we believe the time has come for transparency in the market and for the Government to prioritise legislation to regulate the area. The industry itself also needs to set standards which protect consumers and enhance its reputation.” The report recommended a number of action points for the National Consumer Agency. It recommended that the NCA conduct major research into consumer awareness, views and attitudes in this area as well as conducting a national survey into service charges and management fees. It also recommended that the NCA publish an advisory booklet for consumers. Ann Fitzgerald signalled the NCA’s commitment to implement the report recommendations, beginning with the publication today of the advice booklet “Property Management Companies and You”. Annette Hughes, DKM Consultants, said: “In undertaking this report we found that apartment living is now a significant life choice for many consumers. It is, therefore, imperative that we have a strong regulatory and legal framework that offers protection and information to those consumers.” Key recommendations contained in the report include:

REGULATION 25 RECOMMENDATIONS The report made twenty five recommendations on issues such as the regulation of the industry and protective measures for consumers relating to transfer of control, service charges and sinking funds. The report also recommended the establishment of a professional body and qualifications for those working in the industry. Ann Fitzgerald, Executive Chairperson of the NCA and Director of Consumer Affairs said: “We commissioned the report because consumers, primarily young people, are very vulnerable when they buy apartments or homes in multi-unit developments. Our research showed that they are unsure of their rights and don’t know how the management company and management agent system works. Apartment living is now an integral part of Irish life and it is imperative that consumers are properly protected.

The National Property Services Regulatory Authority Bill should be prioritised The regulation of management companies should be a matter for the National Property Services Regulatory Authority

SERVICE CHARGES AND SINKING FUNDS Service charges should be determined by a professional quantity surveyor and the obligations set down in the lease between the buyer and developer A consumer should be given, on demand, a written summary of costs incurred by the management company Management companies should be required to plan ahead for five years when calculating their service charges A sinking fund should be mandatory in all cases and ring fenced from day to day expenditure – the NPRSA should consult with IFSRA to ensure the adequacy of the

Consumer Helpline

1890 432 432

sinking fund as well as the adequacy of the insurance provision

MANAGEMENT COMPANY To alleviate confusion between management companies and management agencies, once the developer has handed over control of the complex to the owners, there should be a name change from management company to Owners’ Company The developer should be required to attend to the management company’s snag list prepared by an independent architect/ surveyor. The developer should be required to produce a completion certificate Transfer of control of the development should take place within three months of the completion certificate being produced and planning authorities should ensure speedy transfer of control through the planning system Voting rights should be restricted to one per household, irrespective of tenure Professional bodies like the IPAV, the IAVI and IPMFA should provide training courses for the officers of management companies

MANAGEMENT AGENTS A Professional Association of Managing Agents, known as Irish Association of Residential Management Agents, should be set up. It should draw up a code of practice in conjunction with the NPRSA and Society of Chartered Surveyors (SCS) and develop a range of nationally recognised qualifications. For further details log onto

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Peter Cluskey

Here’s a little-known fact: if you took all the banknotes used daily in Ireland and piled them one on top of the other, that mountain of cash would be three-and-a-half times the height of the Dublin spire - in other words, about 420 metres tall. Not many people know that! And if you think it’s just one more piece of useless information, then you are quite wrong, at least as far as Stewart MacKinnon is concerned. As Chief Executive of the Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO) that pile is an exact measure of one-half of the challenge he faces by the end of the decade - persuading Irish consumers not to use cash. The other half is no easier persuading them to abandon cheques. Set up in 1997, IPSO is wholly owned by the retail banks. It introduced chip and pin in 2003 and currently it’s overseeing Ireland’s integration into the Single European Payments Area (SEPA) which will revolutionise banking across Europe over the next three or four years. And why is SEPA important from an auctioneer’s point of view? Well, look at it this way: the overseas market has become increasingly valuable in recent years to Irish auctioneers and estate agents. Irish buyers are expected to spend a remarkable €7 billion on foreign property this year alone. So anything that makes those purchases smoother and more attractive to the purchaser has got to be good news. Because buying property abroad is never easy. There are language barriers. There are legal differences. There are tax differences. There are planning differences. The introduction of the euro should have made banking across Europe more transparent but fat chance!



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The reality is that banks are the same the world over: their priority is to make as much money as possible by charging you through

the nose for as many as possible of the services you’d imagine should be pretty routine, quick - and free. And the euro-zone has made precious little difference. As one who’s bought abroad, I can tell you that for a fact. Take for example the wire transfer, where money is transferred from one country to another and from one bank to another. Yes, you’ll find the money has left your account or your client’s account - in Cork or Limerick on Monday evening but has it arrived in your Spanish, French or Italian account? No such luck. Two days later it turns up. But where has it been? Nobody knows. Then there’s the Irish cheque you lodge in your Spanish account, expecting that because we’re all in euro-land now it will be processed with the same speed as a local, Spanish cheque. Forget it. It can take as long as three weeks and incur a hefty fee as well. Why? Again, nobody knows. And beware, because although you would reasonably expect Irish cheques to be universally accepted now in other European countries, you’ll often find them being turned down by builders, for instance, because they take so long to clear. Before they settle down to your client’s renovation project on the Algarve they’ll often want agreement that they’ll be paid from a local Portuguese bank account. It’s crazy. But it’s true. However, the good news is that all that is about to change, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but certainly from January 2008 - just 12 months away. That’s when SEPA comes into effect, more as a result of political pressure from Brussels for practical steps towards European economic integration than as a result of any newfound willingness on the part of banks to do the decent thing for their customers. “As a result of the streamlining of systems and services which will be part and parcel of SEPA, someone in Dublin or Galway should be able to buy a product in Slovakia as easily as they could here at home” says

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As if all that weren’t bad enough for Stewart MacKinnon, Ireland is also near the top of the league when it comes to the number of cash withdrawals per ATM card - 44.48 withdrawals per card per year, as against 15.24 in the UK and just 5.78 in Luxembourg.

ONE PER CENT OF GDP And all that cash doesn’t come cheap. IPSO reckons it costs the wider economy one percent of GDP or around €1,500 million annually, to source, move, process and distribute Ireland’s cash needs - before the added cost of security and then the added cost of crime, which is typically calculated across Europe at another one percent of GDP, but could be higher here because of our high use of cash. And how about this: because of those very same expenses, it costs retailers about two percent of annual turnover to use and keep cash. It’s incredible - but true. Stewart MacKinnon who represents Ireland on the European Payments Council, the EU steering committee overseeing the introduction of the changes. “They should be able to pay for that product as cheaply and as easily as they could here in Ireland - without any additional charges, delays or red tape”, he told Property Professional.

MORTGAGES And as regards mortgages? “It will be possible for residents in any of the SEPA countries to look for a mortgage in another SEPA country. However, it will be a matter for each individual bank to decide whether or not they want to offer that type of product.” There are three key elements we all need to know about, says MacKinnon: * Firstly, a pan-European direct debit scheme which means, for instance, that if you have a holiday home in Spain and want to pay your electricity bill, you don’t have to open a local bank account to set up a direct debit - you can use your Irish account. * Secondly, there will be Europe-wide credit transfers allowing you to move money anywhere in Europe. If the amount is under €50,000 and the transaction wouldn’t incur a charge at home, then it won’t incur a charge for moving the money abroad.

* And thirdly, all debit cards will be usable throughout the 25 countries of Europe, as well as Norway, Lichtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland, making day-to-day purchases easy without cash. It’s an enormous undertaking which is expected to cost more to implement than Y2K and the euro changeover put together. European banks will have to pay around €8 billion to put the infrastructure in place and then they’re expected to lose as much as €24 billion as a direct result of its implementation, specifically the streamlining of systems and savings to customers. All of this, of course, spells the end for cash and cheques. Or at least it will eventually. Because, while cheques have been done away with in EU countries such as Holland, Lithuania, Hungary and Sweden, we in Ireland still - believe it or not - write 130 million a year. And in terms of cash we’re also near the bottom of the class, with 722 ATM machines per million inhabitants, while Poland, with the fewest, has 211 machines per million. Bizarrely, Irish banks have increased the total number of ATMs by 100 percent in the past two years as a direct result of customers’ demand for cash. Which means that - yes, you’re not dreaming - while McKinnon and IPSO are charged by the banks with dramatically reducing the amount of cash we all use every day, the banks themselves are putting in place more and more machines to spew out more and more cash!

So the aim is to wean people off cash onto cards, to lure them away from cheques to electronic payments and then to have “universal access”, access for everyone to some type of virtual account as yet undecided - not necessarily a bank account to which pensions and social welfare payments, for instance, could be paid and then be accessible by card. “There are up to 15 percent of people who are socially disadvantaged, in other words, on the breadline, who are subsisting on cash at the moment and to whom any solution which involved a bank account would be no use at all. We realise that and there’s no question of any coercion. So we have to find a solution that works for everyone.” And the timescale? “Well, the chief executives of the banks have signed off on SEPA, saying it will be delivered by the due date. And that’s the message I’m getting from my colleagues abroad as well. “I met Commissioner McCreevey recently and he’s very enthusiastic about the changes and wanted to be reassured that the banks weren’t dragging their feet. I assured him they weren’t and he was happy with that. But if he believes there are any undue delays, he has said he will legislate and we believe that he will. Of course we would prefer that that didn’t happen - it would remove any flexibility that we have.” (Peter Cluskey is at

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the property professional


Like many of the new influx of young people into the auctioneering and estate agency profession there was no history of involvement in the property industry in the family of young IPAV member Gareth Williams. Gareth’s parents were both Dubliners who moved to Bray, Co Wicklow where they raised their family. “I was the black sheep of the family, the only one to go into the property industry,” he jokes! Having completed his Secondary education at Newpark Comprehensive School in Blackrock, Co. Dublin the young Gareth opted to study auctioneering at the Senior College, Dún Laoghaire. “That was 1998 and there were about 25 of us in the class so the transition from secondary school was not that noticeable really. We had very good teachers and I fitted in very quickly.” Unlike many students of auctioneering, Gareth’s favourite subject was Valuation and later on he developed a liking for Planning studies. While at Secondary school Gareth had got his first taste of the property industry. During Transition Year he found a placement with Dooley Auctioneers in his own town and began a working relationship that was to last 10 years. Every summer during his holidays he headed back to the well-known Bray firm and worked at the cutting edge of the property industry. “I was lucky that at all times as a student I could see the connection between what I was learning in College and it s application on the ground. I discovered that virtually everything I learned in the Senior College proved of value later when I went to work full-time.”

From Dún Laoghaire Gareth headed south to Cork College of Commerce, his first time to live away from home. “I was very lucky in that four of us decided to share an apartment and one of the four found a suitable place very close to the College on South Terrace. For the next year I lived out of a bag from Monday to Thursday and headed back to Bray for the weekends. Later I regretted I did not spend more time in Cork which is a lovely city and get stuck into life there. But it was my first time away and I tended to go back to base most weekends as we had a half day on Thursday.” Cork College of Commerce was no problem to Gareth as half of his class were from Dún Laoghaire but the new setting provided an opportunity to make more contacts and to meet new teachers. “I thoroughly enjoyed myself in Cork and thought about going straight into the workforce but a visit to Glamorgan University, organised by Peter Brady, changed my mind and I decided on go on and complete my degree.”

Gareth Williams

Luck was on his side again. “From around Easter I had been keeping an eye out for jobs that might suit and in June I took a few weeks holiday. While on holiday word came through from Dooleys that somebody was leaving and that there was a job there for me if I wanted it. I said ‘yes’ without hesitating!” The next four years were spent learning all sides of the auctioneering and estate agency business at first hand.

The University of Glamorgan outside Cardiff was a new experience for the Bray student who now found himself living on campus in a Hall of Residence. University life saw more and more responsibility placed on the student and less ‘spoon-feeding’ in the classroom.

“Dooleys was a firm that was opened by Gabriel Dooley in 1995. He had come from the Licensed Division of Gunnes and so he had great contacts in the pub end of the market. The firm later expanded and today has offices in Dún Laoghaire, Greystones, Clondalkin, Delgany, Galway and Athy.”

“I think we only had lectures for about a day and a half and we were on our own for the remainder of the time. But we had tremendous resources and staff were there to help out all the time. There were often times when I felt like ‘going out to play’ and you had to be focused to get the work done.

Gradually Gareth opted to work more and more in the commercial end of the business and was lucky to have the opportunity to work under the guidance of a number of experienced Chartered Surveyors.

Gareth’s diligence paid off handsomely and in 2002 he graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Estate Agency Management from Glamorgan.

While there he was also offered the opportunity to lecture in Valuation back at the Senior College and this he enjoyed very much. “I loved teaching and that side of the business and did it as long as I could until I could no longer fit it in. Continued on page opposite


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the property professional

NEW COMMERCIAL WEBSITE FOR AUCTIONEERS consultant, has considerable experience in advising clients on buying and selling commercial property. “In my work throughout the country it became clear to me that there’s a gap in the market for a dedicated commercial website to reach people who are looking to buy, sell, lease or rent commercial property” Foy says. is a new commercial property website designed for the Irish market. It’s the brain child of John Foy, a Cootehill based businessman whose aim is to create Ireland’s largest and most exciting directory of commercial property. Foy, a qualified auctioneer and business

This is the gap that now fills. “It’s a professionally designed website of prime interest to auctioneers as it enables them to market commercial property on a single site and already over 60 auctioneers and 1000 properties are on the site” Foy added.

The claimed advantages of the site are that it enables auctioneers to list and market commercial property better, faster and more competitively and the plan is to establish it as the main directory of commercial property for sale, lease or rent in Ireland. To celebrate the launch is offering auctioneers free advertising on the website for up to six months. To avail of this free offer all auctioneers need to do is register with the site over the next couple of weeks. IPAV members can register on or telephone 049 555 6709 or 087 126 1033.

DUBLIN OFFICE PROPERTY PROVIDES BEST RETURNS IN EUROPE Forecasts for office investment returns highlight that Dublin will continue to outperform most other European capitals. Figures released last month by Experian, through its European property forecasting service, predict that total returns for offices in Dublin, for the period 2006 to 2010, will average 13.3% per annum. This forecast return puts Dublin ahead of London’s West End and the French capital, Paris, where average returns are forecast to be 13% and 9.7% respectively over the same period. Despite this strong performance, Dublin still fails to attract as much interest from foreign investors as either London or Paris.

The report estimates that office returns from all European markets will experience a slowdown over the next few years but Dublin, which has been the strongest performer in Europe in terms of total returns, will continue to outperform other European cities. Experian estimates that investment returns in Dublin will be 13.3% in 2008, before falling below 10% in 2009 and 2010, which compares favourably with much more high-profile markets in Europe. However, market evidence suggests that occupier demand for office space in Dublin is stable and mostly confined to the city centre, factors which have resulted in

upward pressure on rents. Experian warns that although Dublin returns are high, stronger rental growth is restricted by a vacancy rate which is quite high when compared to other European capitals. For more information, visit Experian’s website on

MAKING A MARK IN COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE Continued from previous page I had decided to study to become a Chartered Surveyor and this started to eat into my time.” Also a job opportunity arose in CB Richard Ellis and Gareth decided it was time to move on. “I really enjoyed my time with Dooley Auctioneers but I decided I needed to gain new experience.” Having already bought a house in Kilpedder, Co Wicklow, the new job meant early starts and an hour’s commute to the new offices of CB Richard Ellis on Dublin’s Burlington Road.

The new firm which boasts 19,500 employees in 58 countries is gigantic in its sheer size and offers major opportunities to enthusiastic young graduates. The message on the company’s home page is simple but focused: ‘We do not exist without our clients – and we never lose sight of this fact. To that end, every employee in every office around the world lives by our corporate mission: ‘Put the client first - always. Tailor our services to the client's needs. Think innovatively, but act practically. Help the client make the most informed business decisions. Deliver results.’

There are 140 employees working in the Dublin Office which is sub-divided into a number of departments. Gareth Williams is based in the Valuation Department where his work is wide-ranging and innovative. Clients include developers and financial institutions, among others. It’s a varied portfolio but one which Gareth enjoys very much. And what of the future? “At the moment my immediate plans are to complete my RICS examinations and get more experience of commercial property. Who knows after that?”

the property professional


the property professional

DOING WHAT COMES NATURALLY BY PETER BRADY, CHAIRMAN, IPAV EDUCATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE Sometimes we become so preoccupied with ‘doing’ that we forget how we actually do it, if you know what I mean. This thought occurred to me when I found myself listening to two former students speaking to my current First Years about Valuation. As they explained how they went about their tasks – one spoke about surveying for residential mortgage valuations, the other for commercial valuations – I was struck by the ease with which they used the language of their profession.

By Peter Bra d y, Chairman, IPAV Education Advisory Committee

In fact there was no other way they could talk about their work. It was so natural. No more floundering as they did when they were students. For the current first years, this must have sounded strange, complex, beyond them, whatever… Yet it was not so long ago that my two guests sat in the same room and grappled with the similar challenges. Now it was so natural for them to talk about capitalisation, yields, consumer price index etc. I was struck by their confidence and knowledge – why, I do not know. After all I preach this transformation everyday to all my students.

EDUCATION IS ABOUT CHANGE The fact is, dear reader, like many practitioners I too had forgotten what I was about; that education is about change, transformation. The two people who now stood before the class were competent professionals, secure in their knowledge and practice. Not so long before I had spent some days talking to my students about the challenges and efforts

required to be successful. I berated them (in the nicest possible way, of course) about the lack of work and application I detected in their own behaviour. I spoke to colleagues about my frustration, tiredness and the briefly entertained fantasy that I might give all this up. My students were not learning, I told myself. They could remember little, retain little, cared little. And now here I was listening to these two. Briefly I saw them as they were some five years earlier. I thought of all the others who had taken the same journey and what they were now doing. Jaqui the researcher, Shane the tutor, Seamus the planner, John the property manager…. and so many more. How foolish of me to think that what they were now was achieved overnight. Understanding and competence comes with time. As a previous guest speaker reminded another group on a previous occasion : “You will learn a lot in college and then when you go to work you will have to forget it!” I like to think that this was his way of saying that when college is left behind students begin to apply what they have learned – they start the ‘doing’, become practical. Walk the talk, as they say. Thank you, Kevin and Regina, for reminding me of that. And if, my dear students, you find yourself reading this, I still think you could work a little harder!!!

IPAV students who recently completed their B.Sc (Hons) Real Estate (Management & Valuation) at the Universtiyof the West of England in Bristol. (L – R): Sarah Jane Caplis, Christopher Taaffe, Shane Walsh, Liam O'Leary, Gerard Healy, Maria Eivers, Patrick Buckley, Ryamond Ryan, Rachel Treanor and Marcus O'Shea.


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Property magazine 2006 winter  
Property magazine 2006 winter