Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I am leasing a Commercial premises.
Who is liable for the Rates on the property?
A: The occupier of a property is legally liable for payment of the Rates on that property. However, if the occupier fails to pay, the rates become the responsibility of the owner.
Q: What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the Valuation placed on my property by the Commissioner of Valuation?
A: Following a revised valuation on a property, the owner/occupier and Offaly Co. Council are informed of the outcome, by the Valuation Office. The owner/occupier can appeal the decision to the Valuation Office within 28 days from the issue of notification, for a prescribed fee. The Valuation Office can be contacted at the following address: Valuation Office Ireland, Block 2., Irish Life Centre, Abbey Street Lower, Dublin 1 – Telephone 01 81 71 000 or 1890 304 444. A further appeal can be made to the Independent Valuation Tribunal with a further right to appeal via the High Court and ultimately the Supreme Court
Q: Does it affect my Rates if I carry out any structural alterations to the property?
A: Yes, any extension/demolition/alteration is regarded as a material change to the property and will result in a revision of the valuation as determined by the Commissioner of Valuation. Offaly Co. Council will generally instigate any requests for revision based on any of the above circumstances. However, the owner/occupier of a Rateable property can apply to the Valuation Office also to take account of a material change since it was last valued. A prescribed fee payable to the Commissioner of Valuation is applicable to any request for a revision.
Q: If the Valuation on my property is revised will I get the benefit or otherwise of the revision with immediate effect?
A: This depends on the date of notification of the revision, as any revised valuations on a property will normally take effect for rating purposes, from the 1st January following the revision.
Q: What is a Domestic Allowance?
A: Where property was valued before the Valuation Act, 2001 came into effect and where there is a domestic element attached, then a domestic allowance is applied. This is normally one third of the valuation of the property.
Any property valued since the 2001 Act came into effect will only have the commercial element valued.
Q: I have just opened a new business. Am I liable for Rates immediately?
A: This depends on whether the property is a new or existing premises
A new commercial premises will need to be valued by the Valuation Office, which will involve a visit from one of their valuers. You will receive advance notification of the scheduled visit.
If you are taking over an existing commercial premises then, unless you substantially alter the premises, you will become liable for the existing Rates applicable to that property. As outlined above, any material change to the property will involve a re-valuation.
Q: I am thinking of purchasing/leasing an existing commercial property. What do I need to check with the Rates Section of Offaly Co. Council?
A: It is advisable to check that there are no outstanding rates due, as the new owner/occupier can become liable for outstanding rates due by the previous owner/occupier.
Q: I am no longer operating a business from my commercial property. Am I still liable for Rates?
A: Yes, Rates are payable on all valued commercial/industrial property. However, if your property becomes vacant and you can supply written evidence that 1) the property was available for letting or 2) the property was being altered/repaired or renovated during a certain period, then the owner of the property can apply for a refund of Rates to Offaly Co. Council.
In order to qualify for a refund of rates the property must be vacant on the date of the making of the Rate and the rates bill for the year must be paid in full.
Decisions on refunds for vacancy will be made at the end of each Rating year.
Q: What happens if I neglect to pay my Rates?
A: If you fail to pay your Rates by the specified period then Offaly Co. Council will refer the matter to our Solicitor for appropriate legal action, followed by a Court Summons. Offaly Co. Council are legally entitled to register a judgement mortgage on the property or in extreme cases apply to the courts for a jail committal order. The Revenue Staff Officer has the power to seize goods to the value of the Rates outstanding.
Under the Local Government Act, 2001 Offaly Co. Council can publish a list of the names of uncollected Ratepayers at year-end.
Q: Where can I find further information on the present rating system?
A: The Valuation Act, 2001 is the basis for the present Rating system. The Act gives a list of all Rateable property and property exempt from Rates.