Many people who are living in ghost estates will have to pay the controversial annual household charge, the Irish Government confirmed. Despite living in largely vacant estates that are still in need of further work, thousands of families will have to pay the €100 by March 31. Fewer than 300 estates throughout the country are exempt from the tax.
The Department of the Environment confirmed that people living in 2,066 “ghost estates” across the country will have to pay the charge. This will come as a blow to homeowners who have had their unfinished estates abandoned by developers. A full list of exempt estates will be published within days. The Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan said that it was “not acceptable” to look for the €100 charge in estates which where “the worse case scenario” and that posed public health and safety risks.
The department has categorised the unfinished developments into four categories; ranging from estates that estates needing minor works, such as finishing open spaces, to more substantial problems including open manholes, no footpaths, roads, public lighting or sewerage.
Homeowners living in estates that present the greatest challenges and require the most work will be exempt.