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How the septic tank charge will affect the value of your property?

There have been a lot of headlines in recent months in relation to the ‘septic tank charge’, however, there has not been any consideration of the value implications of the charge.

Recent legislation requires registration for domestic wastewater treatment systems, aka septic tanks. This legislation was required to bring Irish Law into line with European regulations. The goal is to protect our ground water from contamination. Ultimately our well water is drawn from these ground water reserves, so it is obvious that this is an important and worthy aim.

The registration fee is €50 and must be completed on or before 1st February 2013. Minister Phil Hogan recently announced a grant scheme for households whose septic tanks are judged to require upgrading following inspection under the legislation. However there are limits to the grants and to eligibility basis on household income as shown in the Table below.

Household Income                  % Costs available                       Maximum Grant
Up to €50,000                          80%                                                 €4,000
€50,001– €75,000                 50%                                                 €2,500

How does this affect value?
Well, as you will no doubt be aware, many householders who are required to register a septic tank have avoided doing so until now. The temptation for a vendor not to register it when they are committed to a sale is doubly so as they have nothing to lose at this stage. However, the buyer has a lot to lose as registering after the deadline will preclude the buyer from the possibility of benefiting from grant assistance of up to €4,000 for septic tank repairs. If you are in the process of buying a property serviced by a septic tank system, I would urge you to contact your solicitor immediately to ensure that the deadline does not pass you by.

Equally, vendors who are selling now or plan to in the near future, who believe that their septic tank may require repairs in the near term, may see discounting of the value of their property if they decide not to register before the deadline. The buyer would then not be in a position to benefit from the grant assistance. This would render the property less desirable to the prospective buyer.

So whether you are planning to buy or sell in the near future, be sure to check if the septic tank is registered or to register your septic tank in order to avoid any potential loss of value or the loss of a sale.

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