Frequently Asked Questions
A first-time buyer is a person (or, where there is more than one buyer, each of such persons):
- Who has not on any previous occasion, either individually or jointly, purchased or built on his/her own behalf a house (in Ireland or abroad), and
- Where the property purchased is occupied by the purchaser, or a person on his behalf, as his/her only or principal place of residence, and
- Where no rent, other than rent under the rent-a-room-scheme, is derived from the property for five years after the date of the current purchase.
Under this scheme, there is no clawback of the first-time buyer relief where rent is received by the person in occupation of the house on or after 6 April 2001 for the letting of furnished accommodation in part of the house.
A clawback arises if rent is obtained from the letting of the house, other than under the renta-room scheme. The clawback amounts to the difference between the higher stamp duty rates and the duty paid and it becomes payable on the date that rent is first received from the property.
What is the position where a first-time buyer purchases a new house where the floor area is less than 125 square metres?
The purchase of a new house by a first-time buyer, where the floor area is less than 125 square metres, is exempt from stamp duty only where a floor area compliance certificate has been issued in respect of the house by the minister for the environment, heritage and local government. If there is no floor area compliance certificate, the full rates of stamp duty apply, as first-time buyer relief is not available for such a purchase.
To qualify for the relief, the entirety of the purchase monies, including any borrowings, must be provided by the first-time buyer. Any person who provides part of the purchase monies or who is a party to any borrowings relating to such purchase is also regarded as a buyer of the house and the relief will not be available unless that other person is also a first-time buyer. The basis for this treatment is that, in such circumstances, the house is held for the person providing the monies used in the purchase of the house by way of a resulting trust presumed in favour of that person. This treatment applies whether or not all the parties providing the purchase monies, or all the parties to any borrowings, are actually named in the deed of transfer.
Where a first-time buyer receives an unconditional gift of monies which are used to purchase a house, he/she will not be precluded from claiming first-time buyer relief.
What is the position where a person, being a first-time buyer, purchases a house using the proceeds of the sale of a house owned by their spouse or partner who is not a first-time buyer?
Where a person who is a firsttime buyer uses the proceeds of the sale of the house they previously occupied which was owned solely by their spouse or partner to buy a house solely in their own name, first-time buyer relief would not be available as the spouse or partner (not being a first-time buyer) would be providing the purchase monies for the house.
Can I qualify as a first-time buyer if I have previously purchased a house abroad but not in Ireland?
No. A person, who has previously purchased a house, either in Ireland or abroad, is not entitled to claim first-time buyer relief.
What is the position where there is more than one purchaser and all of the purchasers are not first-time buyers?
The first-time buyer relief is not available and stamp duty is chargeable at the full rate on the entire purchase price. In order to obtain the relief, all of the purchasers must qualify as first-time buyers.
The relief can be claimed where the gift of the house was received prior to 22 June 2000 (or prior to 27 June 2000 in the case of part of a house). A gift received after the above date(s) is regarded as a prior purchase and would preclude a person from claiming the relief.
Yes. An inheritance is not regarded as a previous purchase and the first-time buyer relief can be claimed provided all other conditions of the relief are satisfied.
Yes. A gift of a house is treated in the same manner as a purchase and the first-time buyer relief can be claimed provided all other conditions of the relief are satisfied.
What is the position where a person, who had obtained first time buyer relief on the joint purchase of a house with another first-time buyer, subsequently acquires the other joint owner’s interest in the house?
A person who obtained first-time buyer relief on the purchase of an interest in a house would not be precluded from obtaining firsttime buyer relief on a subsequent purchase of another interest in the same house, provided that person has not purchased another house or part of another house in the intervening period.
Are there any special situations where a person who is not a first-time buyer can avail of first-time buyer relief?
Yes. There are two particular situations where a person is deemed to be a first-time buyer:
a) The trustees of a trust (to which section 189A of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997 applies), whose trust funds are raised by public subscriptions for the benefit of permanently incapacitated persons, in respect of the first house(s) bought after the establishment of the trust, for occupation by the beneficiary or if more than one, each of the beneficiaries
b) A spouse to a marriage the subject of a decree of judicial separation, a deed of separation, a decree of divorce or a decree of nullity in the case of the first acquisition of a house by the spouse following the separation or divorce provided that the spouse had, in relation to the former marital home,
- Left that home
- Not retained an interest in that home whose separated/former spouse continues to occupy that home, which home was occupied by both spouses prior to the separation or dissolution of the marriage.
In accordance with the provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 1995, the following are for your attention:
Warning: Your home is at risk if you do not keep up payments on a mortgage or any other loan secured on it. The payment rates on this housing loan may be adjusted by the lender from time to time.
Note: The above notice in respect of adjustments to repayment rates will not apply during any period when the loan is at a fixed rate.
In accordance with the provision of the Consumer Protection Code (CPC) 2012 the following are for your attention:
Warning: If you do not keep up your repayments you may lose your home.
Warning: If you do not meet the repayments on your loan, your account will go into arrears. This may affect your credit rating which may limit your ability to access credit in the future.
The following warning applies in the case of variable rate loans:
Warning: The cost of your monthly repayments may increase.
The following warning applies in the case of fixed rate loans:
Warning: You may have to pay charges if you pay off a fixed rate loan early.
The following warning applies in the case of debt consolidation loans:
Warning: This new loan may take longer to pay off than your previous loan. This means that you may pay more than if you paid over a shorter term