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Commercial Real Estate

Housing will continue to dominate the Irish legislative agenda for commercial real estate as the government implements their policies set out in the September 2021 Housing for All plan.

Further residential tenancies legislation will enhance tenancy protections.

Planning legislation will undergo significant change with numerous imminent pieces of legislation as well as a longer term complete overhaul of the planning code. 

Administrative changes for commercial real estate are in the pipeline with the amalgamation of the Property Registration Authority, Ordnance Survey Ireland and the Valuation Office in one body Táilte Éireann which may lead to enhanced efficiencies in the conveyancing process. 

The introduction of e-conveyancing, which has long been discussed, took a step forward in February 2022 with the introduction of Regulations confirming e-signatures are acceptable for documents relating to registered land. 

Key Themes in Commercial Real Estate

The government continues to implement the Housing for All plan.

The majority of the Affordable Housing Act 2021 and the Land Development Agency Act 2021 have been commenced with certain provisions still awaiting commencement.

A new planning procedure will apply for planning permission for Large Scale Residential Developments, replacing the previous Strategic Housing Development arrangements as set out in the recently enacted Planning and Development (Amendment)(Large-Scale Residential Development) Act 2021 and associated Regulations. 

The Housing and Residential Tenancies Bill will strengthen the statutory framework for the enforcement of the overcrowding provisions in the Housing Act 1966 and will amend the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 to further enhance tenancy protections particularly during receivership.

The Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill will amend the existing provisions in respect of social housing assessments, rent schemes and tenant purchase. 

The Land Value Sharing and Urban Development Bill will amend the Planning and Development Act 2000 to introduce new provisions to deal with land value sharing and urban development zones as set out in the Government Housing for All plan.  


Planning legislation set for complete overhaul

In September 2021 the government announced a review of Irish planning laws overseen by the Attorney General and a working group of planning professionals to streamline and simplify the planning process. The government hopes to complete the review by September 2022. The Spring Legislation Programme refers to the Planning and Development Bill which will review and replace the Planning and Development Act 2000.

In the shorter term the Planning and Development (Judicial Review) Bill will reform the judicial review provisions in the Planning and Development Act 2000 and the Planning and Development (Substitute Consent) Bill will streamline the substitute consent provisions.

Administrative Changes on the Horizon

A new body called Táilte Éireann is to be established by the amalgamation of the Property Registration Authority, Ordnance Survey Ireland and the Valuation Office. This will hopefully lead to enhanced efficiencies in the conveyancing process. The general scheme of the Táilte Éireann Bill has been published and the bill is listed as priority legislation in the Spring Legislation Programme.

The Regulation of Providers of Building Works Bill 2022 will place the Construction Industry Register Ireland (“CIRI”) on a statutory footing and will provide in law for the registration of builders, contractors and specialist sub-contractors. 

The Property Services Regulation (Amendment) Bill will revise the Property Services Regulation Act 2011 in light of EU regulations and European Court of Justice case law on the recognition of professional qualifications and the supply of services in the EU.

The Property Registration Authority (“PRA”) welcomed the introduction of the Electronic Commerce Act 2000 (Application of sections 12 to 23 to Registered Land) Regulations 2022 which applies the specified provisions of the Electronic Commerce Act 2000 to the law governing how an interest in registered land may be created, acquired, disposed of or registered. While the PRA is not yet in a position to accept electronic signatures they say this legislation will enable them to explore the potential for the development of a paperless system of registration. 

“Through this policy the Government is demonstrating its commitment to build the required amount of housing, of different tenures, to a high standard, and in the right location, for people of all circumstances”.

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin,  speaking at the launch of the Government Housing for All plan on 2 September 2021. 

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