The Government has recently introduced several measures aimed at boosting investment in Ireland. The introduction of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) to Ireland in March this year will result in growth in international investment in property here. Subject to meeting certain criteria, a REIT will not be liable to either corporation/income tax on its property rental income or property profits, or capital gains tax on disposals of assets of its property rental business.
In another welcome move, the Government recently published draft legislation which provides that certain previously repealed statutory provisions relating to banks’ powers of enforcement over secured property will continue to apply to all mortgages which were created prior to 1 December 2009. A 2009 court decision (Start Mortgages) caused concern for banks with regard to their ability to obtain an order for possession over registered land in respect of mortgages which were created before 1 December 2009 and their ability to rely on other repealed statutory powers such as the power to appoint a receiver, the power to sell, and the right to overreach junior encumbrances on a sale. This new draft legislation will, if passed, allow banks to rely on these previously repealed statutory provisions giving some comfort to potential investors of loan portfolios and helping restore a properly functioning Irish market.
The Personal Insolvency Act 2012 was signed into law on 26 December 2012. The Act provides for the introduction of three new non-judicial debt settlement arrangements and reduces the bankruptcy period from 12 years to 3 years, subject to certain conditions.