Household Charge Exemptions and Waivers

The legislation to bring in the Household Charge came  into effect on January 1st 2012. More details about Household Charge payment and penalty charges here.

Owners of residential property were  liable for the Household charge on each residential property they owned as at 1st January 2012. Tenants were not liable.
The Household charge is not payable for 2013 onwards . It has been replaced with the Local Property Tax (LpT)
If you are looking for details of the Local Property Tax that applies from 2013 – you will find information here

One of the main areas of controversy is the fact that many people on low incomes or Social Welfare had to pay the new charge  at the same rate as people earning €100,000 a year or more. The only income related exemptionwas for those  on Mortgage Interest Supplement.

Which Properties Were Exempt from the Household Charge ?

Mobile Homes were exempt.

The following buildings are not defined as residential property and will not be liable for the  household charge : Buildings that are….

• Part of the trading stock of a business and from which no income has been derived since the building’s construction, and has never been used as a dwelling.

OR vested in certain public authorities ( includes property under the Shared Ownership Scheme  where the local authority still retains an ownership stake) ;

OR owned by voluntary housing bodies;

OR wholly used as dwellings and liable for commercial rates

An owner of a residential property is exempt from the household charge if , on the liability date, the residential property is:

• Comprised in a discretionary trust;

OR  Owned by an approved charity;

OR Vacated by the owner by reason of long term mental or physical infirmity. (note- the legislation does not mention that the house has to be unoccupied)

If your property falls into one of the exempt categories – you do not need to register it for the Household Charge

Which People were Given a Waiver

The following households had the household charge waived :

1. Those in receipt of mortgage interest supplement – (about 18,000 households)

2. Those in certain unfinished housing estates (Estimated to be less than 1300 estates)
List of Unfinished Estates Available Here

Those who qualify for one of these 2 waivers still need to register the property for the Household Charge

No other Waivers Apply – people on welfare and pensions are expected  to pay.

127 thoughts on “Household Charge Exemptions and Waivers

  1. My mother left the family home to her children(11of us). It has up for sale for six yrs and to date remains unsold. The proceeds of the sale are to be divided between us. My sister is executor. Are we liable for the second home charge?

  2. is affordable housing included in the household charge seeing as the council have a vetted interest in the property

    • Sinead – Houses bought under the affordable housing is not exempt from the HH charge.

  3. my dad inherited a family home four years ago and because the dwelling is not suitable for living and has been up for sale since he did not pay tax. He is an 85 years old pensioner who cannot afford this tax. Is there any way he can be exempt. This is a huge worry to him.

    • Bernie – if the property is not suitable to live in it could be exempt.
      The property could also be liable for the NPPR – which is €200 a year with big penalties for late payment.
      It is best to contact your local council and explain your concerns. If it is unsuitable for a dwelling (ie no roof, no water supply , no windows etc) – then the council should be able to confirm there is no liability in writing .

  4. Hi i bought my second home in 05 and am getting interest relief until the end of this yearon the property the estate is also listed as not finished by the local council which i here is exempt from making my 100 euro payment.. my second property is also lived in by myself part time as its near my work and i work nights alot my sister whom lives with me full time she is unemployed and does not have funds to help me pay my morgage she pays towards the bills each month and buys the food for us both, what charges am i liable for?

  5. I live on an estate that has been left unfinished but is not on the list. The residents committee has been in contact with the county council who confirm the estate is unfinished but the developers have gone into liquidation. We are waiting for the county council to finish the estate. Do I have to pay? plans confirm the development has not been finished

    • Rosanna – if your estate is not on the list – then you are liable for the charge. This point has been raised in the Dail several times – and Minister Hogan has always stated that the lists of unfinished estates are fixed for 2012 – no changes will be made to them.

  6. our house is a mortgage bought last 2006 we are on negative equity now are we still liable to pay 100 euro? if we are liable we are happy to return the house key. Is this how the politicians help the people who are in negative equity.

  7. We own a house which is attached to our business. It is not occuppied and would need a lot of work to make it habitable. Would we have to pay household charge.


  8. i do not own the house i live in and at present my dad is in the process of claiming house and land but lives in scotland ! do i have to pay ?

  9. Quetion.

    ….I purchased a house on 16th jan 2012….the bill states ” owners of the property on a specific date ..1st Jan2012 are liable” . I believe that I will be liable next year but not this? Correct ??

  10. i do not actually own my home it is mortgaged.Also am on health benefit €188 per week no extras how am I supposed to pay all bills etc plus this
    Thanks in advance

    • Ann – you are the owner of your home. The fact that you have a loan secured against it does not stop you being the owner.
      You might be granted a waiver from teh charge if you are on mortgage supplement – have you applied for it? Otherwise you will be liable

  11. property left to me by a deceased relative but as yet not registered in my name am i liable for the household charge

    • The legislation has provisions dealing with the situation where a person who is the sole owner of a residential property dies.
      The legislation provides that the personal representative of the deceased person shall not be liable to pay the household charge relating to a year in which the liability falls after the date of death of the deceased person and before the date of issue of a grant of representation to the estate of the deceased person.

      If no grant of representation has been issued – then there is no liability.
      If the owner died after 1st Jan 2012 – there will be a liability for 2012 – which will have to be paid eventually by the “personal representative”

  12. I pay a management fee of 200euro a year for my house as the co.council has not taken over the estate.Am i lable for the household tax.

  13. I am paying Management fees on the estate I live in, do I still have to pay this absurd charge ??

    • Martin – the two charges are not related. When you bought your house you agreed to pay a management fee. The household charge goes towards the local council and is used towards all the services they provide all over the county or city.

  14. We have workshop at back of house and pay commercial rates do we have to pay new charge?

    • The legislation states that only buildings that are fully used as dwellings and on which rates are paid – are exempt from household tax. So it looks like you are liable Ann

  15. If i am receipt of mortgage interest relief, do i still have to pay the tax??

  16. My mother died a year ago and prior to that she had been in a nursing home for 5 years. Her house has been empty since she went into the nursing home. It is still legally in her name as probate hasn’t been taken out yet. What am I to do about the household charge?

  17. It was mentioned rightly or wrongly that Ministers of the Government do not have to pay the Household Tax. How true or
    otherwise is this.

  18. I bought a unit in a new development in June 2008. It is my sole home. The development is mainly completed, and under the new MUD Act 2011 we ‘owners’ have been trying to take over the Management Company from the very uncooperative developer. We are shocked to discover that we do not have full legal title to our homes! So what is our status re the Household Charge? We can’t say we are owners…
    5 Aran Court, Ardara (not listed in Co Donegal ‘unfinished estates’ register

    • Catherine – when replying to a similar question recently in the Dail – the Minister (Phil Hogan) stated
      “As with all legislation, it is for each person to determine (with legal advice, if considered necessary) whether, and to what degree, he or she is affected by the legislative provisions concerned, and thus, in the present instance, to determine whether he or she is an ’owner’ of a ’residential property’ within the meaning of the household charge legislation; it is a matter for a person who is such an owner to assess his or her liability for the household charge, and, where there is a liability, to so declare and to pay the household charge.”
      He also said
      “While the Act places the household charge under the care and management of the local authorities, and application in particular circumstances is a matter for the relevant local authority, the household charge is on a self assessment basis, and interpretation of the legislation is a matter for legal advice in individual cases and ultimately a matter for the Courts.”

  19. how do you pay this tax and do the gov expect everyone to know
    we get reminders for tv licence car tax insurance
    in fact almost everything
    we should get a bill
    however it is probably true in such a corrupt country as ours that our gov does not who lives where and as such cannot send out a bill
    ask the tv licence people for addresses
    surely the land registry has all properties on computer at this stage why dont we get all of our relatively small population on file and join the computer age

  20. Hi I would like to point out that I live in Togher Crescent urlingford co.kilkenny in an unfinished estate but you dont have us under you list of estates exempt from this house hold charge.


    • Olive – not all “unfinished estates” are on the list. The local council and the dept of Enviromnent did the list –
      Only Category 3 & 4 estates are exempt and on the list.
      In 2011 local authorities provided details of all unfinished housing developments in their areas. Unfinished housing developments were divided into four categories as follows:

      Category one, where the development is still being actively completed by the developer, or where no serious public safety issues exist;

      Category two, where a receiver has been appointed;

      Category three, where a receiver has not been appointed and the developer is still in place but effectively inactive; and

      Category four, where the development has been effectively abandoned and is posing serious problems for residents

      In some cases (probably your estate too) the local authority may have found that conditions in respect of a certain phase of a development were relatively good and that, for example, no serious public safety issues could be identified. This phase of the development may have been categorised under category 1 or 2. Conversely, safety issues may have been identified in another phase of the same overall development, or development in that second phase may have been abandoned altogether, implying a category 3 or 4 identification for that phase.

  21. Hi
    Does anyone know is there going to be any kind of exemption for estates with pyrite issues????


  22. My father owns a property in Ireland but lives in England. The property is vacant for the majority of the year and is only in use 2-3 weeks out of 52 (unfortunately he is unable to travel and visit on his own). Would he be exempt from paying?

  23. My grandmother passed away in November 2011 and her house was left to me in her will. The estate has not been legally awarded to me yet, and the will had not gone through probate on Jan 1st 2012 (Probate has still not passed). Will I be liable for the household fine as the property does not as yet legally belong to me this year and the owner is no longer living.

    Thank you

  24. I bought my house in 2006 am i exempt from paying the tax this year and if so do i have to still register

    • Olivia – wht would you think you are exempt ? All the exemptions and waivers are listed in the article. If you fall into one of those categories then you will be exempt. The year you bought a house has no bearing on your liability.

  25. If you are a first time buyer via the affordable home scheme and locked into a 25 year clawback clause by the county council does this constitute a situation whereby
    “the local authority still retains an ownership stake” and hence is exempt?

  26. What an unfair and crazy charge.Multi- Millionaires like Michael O Leary (Ryanair) pay 100 euro on his Gigginstown Mansion and someone on a disability benifit in his/her 1 room flat in negative equity pay 100 euro. This Government is the same as the last one.It is those at the bottom who will have to pay for everything.


  27. My 89 year old mother-in-law has been in rented accomodation for almost 63 years. Recently her landlord called to her and told her that she was liable for this household tax. My reading of this tax is that the landlord is the one liable. What is the true situation.

    • Owners are liable for the charge.
      If a landlord wants to increase rent (for any reason) – they will need to wait until the current tenancy or lease expires.

  28. my husband and i rent out a second property (which is 80k in neg equity, no chance of selling), the tenants are on rental supplement, we make no money on it as is. before anyone says ye knew what ye were getting into, we only intended it to be a short term 3-6 month thing to move house but got caught in the storm 3 years ago. We don’t mind absorbing the first 100 this year. We all know in the coming years this will jump to 500 and more. The landlord assoc of ireland says to put the charge on to tenants so we have no choice but to do this in the coming years. Why did they not put the charge on the inhabitants of the house? Lot of pain coming.

  29. I have a house that i am finding it hard to pay for i have moved back in with parents it is on the books of an estate agent and is unoccupied, i can not sell it or rent it do i still have to pay this charge

    • Evelyn – if you own the house and are not getting Mortgage Interest Supplement – then you are liable – …

    • Deirdre – there are no exemptions for Med Card holders – unless you are getting Mortgage Interest Supplement.

  30. I paid €15,000 in Stamp Duty at the start of Dec 2011, just before the cut off. Do I still have to pay this?

  31. Wat about those who paid thousand of euros in stamp duty when they bought those shoe box apartments? ireland is a country ruled by thieves

    • When a first-time buyer bought a home with a floor area that did not exceed 125 sq meters, there was no stamp duty liability.
      FTBs paid no stamp duty from July 2007 until last year.

  32. My hame is crumbling in on top of us with Pyrite and I actually had pieces of plaster fall on me while I was sleeping. Will we have to pay this ridiculous charge. In my opinion my home is not fit for habitation

  33. My son has an unfinished house on my property, he’s left the country and its uninhabitable, is the property liable to the charge considering it’s uninhabitable?

  34. Anyone know if there is a liability for non resident owners? Living in Sydney, but have my house in Dublin rented.

  35. My mother died last year and the house is up for sale and vacant, do we as her family have to pay the 100e


  36. we are a married couple both age 67 and our monthly income-
    pension in total is EU 1390.- how can we aford to pay this
    coming household tax. thanks and regards

    • Agreed… it is wholly disgraceful that citizens who paid into this nation all their lives are now being asked to pay for the errors of those born in some cases after they retired.

      My own mother is in a worse situation… in her 80’s she has never even seen a computer, let alone ever used one…and she wouldn’t know what a charge card (laser) is…let alone a visa or mastercard.

      Despite trying to explain this to her she just doesn’t understand.

      It’s immoral, unethical and frankly absurd and I feel we are all guilty if we don’t simply refuse to pay it and tell the politicians (who work for us, not the other way around) that we are simply not putting up with this totally disgraceful behavior.

  37. I don’t own my house – the Bank does untill I pay off the mortgage….is this a valid reason not to pay?

  38. Kieran – as the article states – the only income related waiver that is available is for those owners getting Mortgage Interest Supplement.

    The government expect pensioners, widows, widowers etc to pay the charge .

  39. hi im soley dependent on my widowers pension will i have to pay hosehold charge

  40. hi i just purchased a house six months ago and paid stampduty do i have to pay alsodo my elderly parents have to pay as they only have state pension.

  41. if ur under the affordable housing scheme and 50/50 and paying household maintenence do you have to pay the charge..

    • Hi Karl, Was wondering the same myself and just wondering did you get an answer to your question? Thanks!

    • Affordable housing is not exempt. Shared ownership – where the council actually owns a portion of the house is exempt.

  42. if ur in receive mortgage interest supplement do u have to pay this 100 euro and how do u go about waivering it

    • Nora – you still have to register and fill in the section about claiming a waiver because you are getting MIS. There will be no charge. They should issue a cert or something to confirm you have the waiver. Let us know if they send you one please – it will be useful to find out if they are issuing these certificates of waiver or not. Thanks

  43. My parents are exempt as they are in a nursing home and their house is unoccupied…Is there a form that needs to be filled out to apply for this exemption?

  44. Do those receiving mortgage interest relief on their mortgage have to pay?

  45. hi, i live in an unfinished housing estate in co. limerick but its not on the list of exempt housing estates. im just wondering why? there are still houses left to be built and there are no street lamps in my particular area of the estate.

    • ali – your estate even though infinished must be classed as either ….

      Category 1: where the development is still being actively completed by the developer
      Category 2: where a receiver has been appointed;

      These categories have not been given a waiver by the government.
      You can check with your local council.

  46. Mary – there are going to be thousands in the same situation or worse. In a couple of years the full property tax is going to be more than this €100.

  47. there is no actual clear guidelines why this money is being charged to residents for, or why we should pay this. We pay enough charges to the bank and govenment levies for the privellage of a mortgage, why should i pay a tax when i dont get local authority supports i.e water/electricity/roads/sewerage/street lighting/footpaths?

  48. Hi,

    I am the owner of an affordable house, since 2008, am I exempt, I think its different from shared ownership, but the council still have a stake in it for 20 years if I sell?

    Thank you for your advice

  49. My mother is in a nursing home and her home is empty. Is she still liable for the charge?

  50. i live in an unfinished housing estate (roads unfinished, apartment blocks are just shells and site railings around some of the estate) am i still liable for the charge?

  51. Billy – you are liable – but if you are getting mortgage interest supplement you will be granted a waiver – and won’t have to pay.

    • If it is a property suitable for occupation – it could be liable! Is it permanently attached to the ground? If not – it is not liable.

  52. A quick question on the exemption. In November 2009 our property got flooded as a result of local rivers not being maintained. Because of this flooding we now cannot get house insurance together with the fact that our house has ZERO value AND NEVER WILL HAVE A VALUE. Unless the authorities are prepared to clean out the river we are continuously at risk of flooding. THANKS TO OUR GOVERNMENT WE ARE NOW IN THIS PREDICAMENT!

    Do we still have to pay this charge?


    • Martina – my understanding is that the property is occupied or suitable for occupation – and is therefore liable.

  53. Hi, I am on state pension and we own an old Cottage used for weekends only, it has never been used or occupied by anyone else. I am already paying the € 200 property tax so do I need to pay the new houshold charge ( Property Tax) as well ? Is this not clearly a double taxation ? Any advise is appreciated.

  54. Hi, I bought my house 6 years ago following a divorce and had to pay 29,500 Euro in Stamp Duty on top of the purchase price of the house. I am on low income also and wonder should the Stamp Duty I paid not be taken into consideration regarding this new Household Tax Charge…………

  55. My parents are both 79 and own their own home. They both live on State pensions only. Will they still have to pay the property tax?

    Many Thanks
    Dolores Smith

  56. My husband is not working (he’s not eligible for benefits) and my house is vacant as not able to sell (massive negative equity), trying to rent but unsuccesful so far. I’m paying two mortgages on my wage (with difficulty) and already pay the 2nd house tax on my empty property, do I really now have to pay a second tax on this house as well as the new tax on my husbands house where we live?

  57. Is mortgage interest supplement the same as Mortgage Interest Relief that’s paid every month when my mortgage payment comes out of my account?

    • No Roberta – it’s not the same . Whatyou get is a tax relief. The supplement is paid to people on very low income eg unemployed.

  58. im in arrears for 18 months and can only afford to pay half my interest only mortgage, i dont get any supplements and have a job, do i have to pay.

  59. Its not fair that somebody struggling to pay a mortgage while surviving/living on social welfare ( not eligible for mortgage interest supplement)+ not living in a council house has to struggle even more to put this money together.People living in council houses have lower rents to pay even if buying their houses. I really give up on whats going to happen to us as we get older in Ireland -theres no hope

  60. I have a mortgage on my house which has 18 months still to run.
    I am on Disability Pension but not allowed Interest supplement, because I was on unemployement at the time and the loan was acquired and guaranteed by my brother in order to prevent me from losing my home because of Credit Card and Personal Loan Debt.

    Where do I stand on a waiver – probable 2 hopes, Bob Hope and No Hope.

  61. hi im renting a house with my partner d we need to register or does the landlord?

  62. I own an apartment in a complex. I pay management fees of €1250 to a management company, do i still need to pay this household tax.

    • The only waivers granted are listed in the articel – there are no other waivers or exemptions.

      • so basically i’m paying money twice for the same thing. that makes perfect sense. this country is a joke

  63. i am receiving a FIS payment, my mortgage supplement was stopped as soon as i started receiving this because it is suppose to be part of the FIS payment. Does anybody know if i have to pay this Tax being in receipt of this payment.

    • The legislation states that a waiver is granted if the owner is entitled to receive mortgage interest supplement.
      It sounds like you could be “entitled to receive” it – but I would check with Social Welfare.
      If you are given the waiver – you still have to register anyway

  64. Yet again the people that get everything for nothing are let away with this payment,(FREE HOUSE,S ETC) it,s so wrong, and i will not pay it…

  65. This charge is terrible. I live on my own with a weekly State pension of €238. How on earth can I afford to pay this charge? Surely pensioners should be excluded from this monstrous charge.

  66. I am a single parent struggling – not receiving maintenance from my spouse – i have tried via courts and he has left country. I have now been made unemployed trying to pay my mortgage and all the other bills. I cant afford any more payments. What will happen if i am unable to pay this

  67. This charge is totally undemocratic in its design. I am a pensioner living in a private estate where very may of my young neighbours are first time buyers. All of them are now in negative equity and a huge number of them are unemployed and on point of being suicidal as to how to exist.
    Had they been living in a local council estate house as a tenant they would not have to pay this charge, and those of us who have to pay would be subsidising them.
    In a local council estate over 60% of residents working and getting away scot free.
    Another piece of half baked legislation from our overpaid politicians

  68. i receive 331 euro for me and my wife how can i pay this money it is hard all ready now

    • Christy – Go for the quarterly direct debits – that will help spread it out a bit.

  69. I think that this tax is absolutely disgraceful, I am a public servant and my wages have been significantly cut. I am actually getting less than people on social welfare , as I ahve friends on social welfare we would talk about money quiet a bit, I think it is unbelievable that yet again the working person has to pay for the whole countries debt

  70. How do you expect elderly people to pay this property tax when there is no bill. My mum has no access to the internet to download a form, she doesn’t know anything about websites or where to access the information. She doesn’t drive and lives approx 20 miles from the nearest county council office. My mum doesn’t have a Laser or Credit Card. You don’t seem to realise that you have made this task very difficult for older people. My mum finds it hard enough to manage ordinary day to day bills, she is forgetful, so how can you expect somebody to pay a bill when they don’t receive one in the post. I await your comments.

    • Patricia – I agree with all you say. MoneyguideIreland is an independent website – we are nothing to do with the Government. It is a badly organised Tax – done on the cheap with poor planning.

  71. Hi When was tax self assestment for employees introduced, When it is I will correspomd with the authority and pay the 100 euro, until then it is there job to assess me

  72. Pensioners should not have to pay.
    Public service pensions are taxed at source 6%
    between 12,000 and 24,000.
    A large number of public servants retire on pensions of approx 18,000.
    I also feel old age pensioners Social Welfare should definitely not be charged

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