Tipp FM Legal Slot – 28th February 2012
John M. Lynch February 2012 Q&A Review[soundcloud id=’167085514′]
I am undecided about whether I am going to pay the household charge as there are a lot of different views on it, will I be billed for it and if I do not pay it what will happen?
The Government introduced a new property tax called the household charge on 1st January 2012, as a result of the EU/IMF agreement signed by the former government in an attempt to offset the government deficit of €18 billion. The household charge is €100 and applies to residential property owners.
The tax must be paid before the 31st March 2012 – but householders can opt to pay by instalments. If you want to pay by instalments you must be registered and have your DD set up before the 1st March. The first DD must be paid on the 13th March and next payments will be due in May, July and September.
Billing: No bills or invoices for this household charge will be sent – the charge will be on a self-declaration basis.
Penalties for late payment or non-payment of the household charge
The Household Tax is due to be paid before March 31st in each year of liability – otherwise penalty charges will be applied.
Householders may not be aware that if they delay in paying the household charge the overall cost to them could be far greater than €100. Penalties apply for late payment of the household charge and if it is unpaid it attaches to the property for 12 years.
If the payment is less than 6 months overdue there is a 10% penalty, if it is over 6 months, but less than 12 months there is a 20% penalty, payments more than 12 months overdue incur a penalty of 30%. Additionally, 1% late payment interest applies for every month that the charge is unpaid.
So – if someone is 12 months late paying the €100 household charge – they will owe €130 plus another €12 interest – a total of €142.
I have a DePuy hip implant and I am concerned about the metal ions entering my bloodstream. I had a blood test and my blood readings were elevated but I was told there is no need to worry. Should I investigate further?
It is difficult to say for certain what the effects of having these high levels of toxicity of metals in the body will be, particularly the long-term effects, given that there is as of yet no definitive research completed in the area. In our experience a lot of patients are being told that these raised levels are nothing to worry about – but obviously from a medical point of view more extensive testing and research need to be carried out. There is an alarming degree of ignorance out there concerning the effect metal on metal implants have on patients in the context of the effects of high levels of chromium or cobalt. There are people with high blood readings who have no symptoms, there are people who have high blood readings who have symptoms, there are people who have high blood readings and when they go for a scan nothing shows up, so there’s a lot of concern around the high readings. While consultants are continuing to monitor the ion levels there is a question mark around what approach will be taken if the high levels continue.
The experts who we have consulted have advised that if you have no symptoms and have high blood readings you should keep matters under review and go for regular checks. If you begin to have symptoms you should immediately undergo further examination.
I am anxious to have my PIP implants removed. I received my implants from the Hospital Group and when I contacted them they offered to remove them if I sign a “Patient Agreement Form”, should I sign it if it means that I will no longer be a risk? I cannot afford to pay for the surgery myself so what other option do I have if I do not sign it?
Some of our clients have received the same option from the Hospital Group. By signing the “Patient Agreement Form” you would be waiving their right to legal redress in order to avail of the free removal or reduced cost replacements. You would also have to make a declaration to the effect that they will not speak to the media.
The “Patient Agreement Form” states “I agree that my acceptance of such services shall stand in full and final settlement of any claims whatsoever.” and “Upon acceptance of such services I agree to discontinue any or all actions I may have, or as may be, commenced against THMG Ltd (The Hospital Medical Group) and/or the surgeons in relation to my PIP implant surgery.”
Under absolutely no circumstances should you sign the “Patient Agreement Form”.
In all cases we are advising Clients to immediately take the following steps:
- Firstly we need to find out whether you have PIP implants. We can do this by requesting a copy of your records under the Data Protection legislation from the clinic where you had your implants. The operation records page in your records should identify the makers of your implants. We are assisting many Client at this stage is establishing whether they have had PIP implants.
- If you have PIP implants we would suggest that you contact your GP or the clinic where the operation took place to request a scan. It may take some time to get your records so you might not wish to wait for these before you seek a scan. An MRI scan will enable your medical practitioner to assess whether your implants pose an immediate risk, i.e. whether they have ruptured. You must be persistent in this if your request is denied. From experience we are discovering that Clients are getting quicker referrals for scans through their GPS.
- We are aware that many Clients have had difficulties in sourcing Clinics who will perform the appropriate scans. We are aware of a number of clinics that are presently performing these scans and are happy to assist our Clients in this regard.
What will the scan show?
Your Scan may reveal one of two outcomes:
- If there is an issue with the implant, you may wish to have them removed and will need to consider your options from a medical and legal point of view.
- If your scan shows that there is currently no sign of issues with the implant, you may like to keep your situation under review and will need to consider your options from a medical and legal point of view.
My brother passed away in 2001 and because he did not have a will his property passed to me and my brother s and sisters. One of our brothers has been using a piece of the land for his own use since 2001. We do not have legal contract; he paid rent for the first few years but I am not sure if he still pays rent. I was listening to your show on Tipp FM last week and a case you were discussing; will he have adverse possession of the land next year as he will have been using it for 12 years?
The case you are referring to is O’Hagan (personal representative of Alice Dolan (decd)) v Grogan where the deceased, Alice Dolan, owned a house at Botanic Road, which the Dublin Corporation acquired for road widening in exchange for a house in Enniskerry Road.
Alice Dolan died intestate on 22nd October 1981. Desmond Grogan, a local auctioneer, learned of her death and lack of next-of-kin and broke into her house in 1982 and took possession of the house. The grant of probate was not taken out until 2000, which was outside the 12 year limitation period. However, if you are holding a property against the State the Statute of Limitation period is 30 years. The Supreme Court had to decide whether the Chief State Solicitor was a “State Authority”
The majority of the Supreme Court decided that no, the Chief State Solicitor was not a State Authority and so the period of limitation was 12 years. The house remained with Desmond Grogan.
This ruling highlights that where another person is in possession of your land for more than 12 years s/he acquires adverse possession. I would advise you to start renting the land to your brother and to draw up a legal agreement to this effect to avoid a situation of adverse possession next year.