Housing Act, 1966

Recovery of expenses of repair and demolition, etc.

71.—(1) Where any expenses have been incurred by a housing authority under subsection (14) of section 66 , section 69 or section 70 of this Act in relation to a house, the authority may make a demand in writing of the owner of the house for payment thereof and if after the expiration of fourteen days from the date of the demand, the expenses or any part thereof have not been paid or an offer by the owner to pay the expenses in instalments or otherwise has not been accepted by the authority, the amount which is unpaid together with interest, at the rate of interest at which the authority can, on the date when the demand is made, borrow from the local loans fund, may, without prejudice to any other method of recovery, be recovered either in whole or in part by the authority in one or more of the following ways:

(a) by the sale by the authority of any materials resulting from any works carried out by the authority in relation to the house and the retention by them of so much of the proceeds of the sale as is equal to the amount of such expenses, with interest;

(b) by requiring the occupier of the house (whether the occupation commenced before or after any of the expenses were incurred by the authority) to pay to the authority any rent or payment in lieu of rent then due or thereafter to become due by him until the amount of the expenses with any interest due thereon is paid to the authority, or in case the house is or becomes vacant, by letting the same, until the said amount is so paid, on such terms and conditions as the authority think fit, provided that the authority shall serve on the owner of the house not less than twenty-one days' notice either, as may be appropriate, of their intention to require the occupier to pay to them any rent or other payment so due, or of the terms and conditions upon which they propose so to let the house or of any variation which they propose to make in such terms and conditions;

(c) by making an order (in this section referred to as a charging order) charging the house and, at the discretion of the housing authority, all other premises held therewith by the same tenure or under the same tenancy, with the amount of the expenses, with interest thereon;

(d) by recovery from the owner of the house or the person receiving the rent of the house as a simple contract debt in a court of competent jurisdiction, provided that, if the person proves that he is receiving the rent merely as an agent or trustee for some other person, and has not, and since the date of the service on him of the demand has not had, in his hands on behalf of that other person sufficient money to discharge the whole demand of the authority, his liability shall be limited to the total amount of the money which he has, or has had, in his hands as aforesaid.

(2) Any surplus moneys arising on a sale pursuant to paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section shall be paid by the housing authority to the owner of the house, or if there is more than one owner, to each such owner in such proportions as the owners may agree, or (in default of agreement) as the justice of the District Court, having jurisdiction in the district court district in which the house is situate may, on the application of any such owner, determine.

(3) The service of a notice under paragraph (b) of the said subsection (1) upon an owner shall operate to transfer to the housing authority the exclusive right to recover, receive and give a discharge for the rent or other payment payable by virtue of the said subsection (1) to the authority and if at any time during the period when the rent or other payment is so receivable by the authority, the owner, after being requested by the authority, refuses to execute as respects the house any maintenance or other works for which he as owner is liable, the authority may execute the works and any expenses incurred by the authority in executing the works shall be recoverable by the authority in like manner as if such expenses were expenses incurred by the authority under the said subsection (14) of section 66, the said section 69 or the said section 70 in relation to the house.

(4) A charging order shall be deemed to be a mortgage made by deed within the meaning of the Conveyancing Acts, 1881 to 1911, and the housing authority shall be the mortgagees for the purposes of those Acts and shall accordingly have, in relation to every charging order, all the powers conferred by those Acts on mortgagees under mortgages made by deed.

(5) Wherever a housing authority make a charging order they shall, as soon as practicable thereafter, cause the order to be registered in the Registry of Deeds or by the registering authority, as the case may require.

(6) A charging order affecting land registered by the registering authority shall be registerable by that authority as a burden affecting such land whether the person named in such order as the owner or the occupier of the land is or is not registered by the said authority as the owner of such land.

(7) Where—

(a) land is offered for sale by the Irish Land Commission under any statutory power in that behalf vested in them, and

(b) such land is subject to a charging order,

the land shall be sold subject to the charge created by the order in addition to any other charge, encumbrance, or liability subject to which such land is, apart from this subsection, required by law to be sold.

(8) In calculating expenses described in this section, any costs incidental to the recovery of the amount due, including costs in relation to proceedings in the District Court or in relation to the registration of a charging order in the Registry of Deeds or by the registering authority, shall be included by the housing authority, and the amount of a grant made under any enactment (including this Act) in respect of works to which the expenses relate, together with, if the housing authority think fit, the amount of any supplementary grant which could be made by the housing authority in respect of the works, shall be deducted by the housing authority.