Property Law/Conveyancing

At O'Connor O'Shea, we provide a full range of legal services in the area of property sales and acquisitions in Ireland, to include:  

  • The sale and purchase of residential properties
  • The sale and purchase of farms
  • Commercial and retail properties
  • Advice on mortgages
  • Development sites
  • Planning issues
  • Construction contracts
  • Tax incentives
  • Licensing issues for public houses
  • Commercial (business) leases (both long and short term)

The following general questions sometimes arise:


Conveyancing is the process whereby title to property passes from a seller to a purchaser.  There are two types of title to property in Ireland:  

(A)  Title registered in the Registry of Deeds is the older form of title and usually relates to urban properties.  The title consists of a  bundle of deeds showing the history of occupation of the property for at least forty years, ending with the seller, each transfer being separately registered.  The Registry of Deeds system only decides priorities and does not guarantee ownership, which is proven by detailed  investigation.  Putting together, and checking, this type of title is difficult and time consuming for both sides.    

(B)  The other type of title in Ireland is title registered in The Land Registry.  This is a "modern" method  having been created in the 1870's!  At first it only related to farm land and rural properties as landlords passed their estates to The Land Commission who then transferred the land on to the former tenant farmers.  Therefore, as our towns and cities have expanded into the countryside, much of what now appears to be urban property is in fact registered in The Land Registry.  

The Land Registry is now run by the Property Registration Authority which is divided between Dublin and Waterford.  It holds a register for each county.  Each parcel of property is given a folio which is given a number (the folio number).  The folio gives a description of the property, names the current owner and lists any mortgages or burdens on the property.  It also has an accurate map attached.  All original folios are kept by the Land Registry and the owner is only entitled to get a copy.  Therefore, unlike with title registered in the Registry of Deeds, the owner cannot mislay the title.  

Title of a property, however, is only part of a transaction.  Since the creation of the Land Registry, other layers of complexity have been added to conveyancing so now consideration must be given to issues like planning, Building Regulations, Stamp Duty, Capital Gains Tax, Residential Property Tax, Family Law legislation, Licencing, Bank and Building Society requirements and now water charges thus making sales and purchases of property, conveyancing, much more complicated.  

If you want more information on conveyancing, call us on (064) 6631137.  Alternatively, email us at and we'll call you back.  


" Business", for the purposes of a lease, is defined in the Landlord and Tenant Act, 1980, (as amended), as any trade, profession or business, whether or not it is carried on for gain or reward, or any activity for providing cultural, charitable, educational, social or sporting services. It also includes public services provided by a number of public bodies such as Councils and Health Boards. In very basic terms, if a business is in occupation of a premises for five years or more, then the business has acquired a business equity is entitled to a long-term lease in the premises. There are numerous exceptions and conditions to this basic concept. For this reason, business leases can be divided into two types:

(A) Leases for less than five years

The current economic situation now means that tenants are wary of committing to long-term leases for fear that the business will not be sustainable. Security of premises is not a major factor as long as there is a surplus of premises on the market and where the "upward only" rent review clause is no longer an issue in new leases. This impacts on the rent payable as many Tenants would intend expending large sums of money on upgrading the premises. A short term agreement would a high rent would not give them sufficient time to recoup the investment. At the same time, many Landlords are loathe to grant leases for periods greater than four years and eleven months (this used to be two years and eleven months) for fear of a Tenant acquiring the right to a new, and long, Lease.

The problem with a short Lease for the Tenant is that he must leave at the end of the term. For the Landlord to problem is that he must find a new Tenant.

To get over this time limit of four years and eleven months imposed by the 1980 Act (as amended) and allow a existing tenant stay in a premises for a longer period, the law was changed in 1994 and again in 2008 by way of section 47 of The Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008. The position now is that a Tenant can renounce in writing any rights he may get to a long-term Lease provided he gets independent legal advice beforehand. Provided this is done properly, any length of lease can now be granted by a Landlord.

(B) Leases for five years or more

Quite often, Landlords will want a long term relationship with a Tenant. This will involve a 10, 21 or 35 year lease which, in the absence of the Renunciation mentioned above, is a lease renewable forever as the Tenant (or his successors) is entitled to a new long-term Lease when the first lease expires.

The new lease will be for a term, at the tenant's option, of not less than five and not more than twenty years but the parties may agree to a shorter or longer term and can also agree the terms of the Lease.

If the parties cannot agree the terms, the tenant can apply to court to have the terms decided and if he delays in doing so then the landlord has the option of making the application to court. The Court has power to fix the terms of the new lease, including the rent (which will be fixed at the current open market rental value of the premises) and the parties are entitled to have the rent reviewed every five years thereafter.

If you want more information on Business Leases, call us on (064) 6631137.  Alternatively, email us at and we'll call you back.