Dillon Solicitors go back to college!

 

Dillon Solicitors go back to college!

 

On Wednesday last, four of the of the Solicitors from the office, Brendan Dillon, Pauline Horkan, Niall MacCarthy and Lorna McArdle visited UCD to give a talk on a wide variety of issues including Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, sale and purchases of property and remortgage of property.

 

The 30 minute talk was followed by a question and answer session and a one on one clinic.

 

Over 270 UCD Staff were in attendance and we were delighted to be able to participate and particularly pleased with the positive feedback which we received.

 

We have done a number of talks to staff of medium sized/large companies and are happy to do so for any other companies that are interested.

 

For any other companies that are interested please contact Brendan Dillon on 01-2960666.

 

 

 

 

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019

 

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019

 

On the 4th June 2019, parts of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 became effective, which introduced a number of amendments to the current residential tenancies legislation It’s aim is to give more rights to tenants.

 

Landlords and Tenants should make themselves aware of the amendments. In particular Landlords should be aware of the sanctioning regime which will apply to improper conduct of the Landlord. We have set out some of the changes below.

 

  1. A Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) is a designated area where rents cannot be increased by more than 4% per annum. This applies to new and existing tenancies (unless an exemption is being applied).

The designation of existing RPZs will be extended to the end of 2021.

The exemptions from the 4% p.a. rent increase restriction in RPZs have been revised so to apply only to the first rent setting, rather than every rent setting, during the   period of RPZ designation in respect of a new rental property, including a property that had not be rented in the 2 year period prior to any RPZ designation.

For the purposes of assessing whether a Local Electoral Area should be designated as a Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ), there are now three standardised average rents that will be used.

Dublin areas will remain comparable to the national standarised average rent.

The ‘Greater Dublin Area’ (Kildare, Wicklow, Meath), excluding Dublin, will be compared to a new criteria which is the national standardised average rent excluding Dublin.

The rest of the country – areas outside ‘The Greater Dublin Area’ and Dublin – will be compared to an ‘outside GDA’ standardised average rent.

The Act also provides a legal definition of what constitutes substantial change in the nature of accommodation provided under a tenancy in the context of qualifying for an exemption from the rent increase restriction. Under existing legislation, such a change allows landlords to avoid the rent increase restrictions in RPZs. – such works shall consist of either a permanent extension increasing the floor area by 25% or at least 3 of the following; (a) a permanent alteration of the internal layout, (b) adaptations for persons with a disability, (c) a permanent increase in the number of rooms, (d) an improvement in the BER by 2 or more ratings.

 

2. The notice periods that a landlord must give when terminating a tenancy have been increased.

Duration of Tenancy                                   Notice Period

Less than 6 months                                              28 days

Not less than 6 months but less than 1year     90 days

Not less than 1year but less than 3 years        120 days

Not less than 3 years but less than 7 years      180 days

Not less than 7 years but less than 8 years      196 days

Not less than 8 years                                            224 days

 

3.  Where a landlord terminates a tenancy because they intend to sell the property, they must enter into a contract for sale within 9 months of the termination date and if not, must offer to re-let to a former tenant who provides their contact details.

Where a landlord terminates a tenancy because they need the property for their own occupation or for a family member, that property must be offered back to the former tenant who provides their contact details where it again becomes vacant within 1 year of the termination date.

Where a landlord terminates a tenancy because they need to substantially refurbish/renovate the property, that property must be offered back to the former tenant who provides their contact details, upon completion of the works.

There is additional criteria which a landlord must satisfy and provide when issuing the notice of termination.

The notice must:

  1. state if planning permission is required,
  2. state the name of the contractor (if any),
  3. the date on which intended works are to be carried out, and
  4. the proposed duration of the works.

Also a certificate from of a registered professional (within the meaning of the Building Control Act 2007) will be required to the effect that the proposed substantial refurbishment/renovation works in question would pose a health and safety risk requiring vacation by the tenants and would require at least 3 weeks to complete.

 

If you require any assistance on this or any other property related matters please contact Lorna McArdle on 01 2960666

 

 

 

Existence of judicial separation – not a bar to a party bringing nullity proceedings

Existence of judicial separation – not a bar to a party bringing nullity proceedings

 

In a recent decision of Judge Leonie Reynolds in AR v DR the wife argued that her husband could not bring nullity proceedings in circumstances where the parties had been judicially separated. She also claimed that her husband was estopped by reason of the delay in bringing such an application.

 

In her decision Judge Reynolds said that estoppel did not apply in cases in nullity nor was the existence of judicial separation a bar to the husband’s entitlement to bring that application for nullity.

 

The applicant wife claimed that the marriage took place without her consent without the full free exercise of her independent will and that she lacked the capacity to enter into and sustain a caring and considerate marital relationship.

 

Judge Reynolds set out the circumstances in which a nullity could be granted. i.e. that the marriage was void. e.g. one of the parties was already married, one of the parties had not reached the age of maturity ,certain formalities had not been complied with ,the degree of relationship between the parties was prohibited under law or the absence of consent. It was the latter ground that was relied upon in this case.

 

Judge Reynolds also explained that it was possible for a party to argue that the marriage was voidable i.e. failure the parties to consummate their relationship or the inability for one of the parties to sustain a normal marital relationship .It was this latter point that was also claimed by the applicant.

 

Judge Reynolds, having reviewed the facts, was highly critical of allegations made by the applicant wife and criticised her in very robust terms and refused the application on the grounds that there was no evidence before the court to suggest that there was an absence of consent at the time of entering into the marriage or that there was any inability to sustain a normal marital relationship. `

 

In making her judgement she quoted from the Supreme Court in the case of LB V TMc i.e. the courts must demand a heavy burden of proof before granting an annulment.

 

If you would like to find out more about family law or any other matter please do not hesitate to contact Brendan Dillon on 01-2960666.

 

 

Circumstances where court will review previously agreed terms

 

Circumstances where court will review previously agreed terms

 

In a recent case of KC v TC the High Court were asked to revise a previously agreed division of sale proceeds of a property with the applicant claiming that the proceeds were insufficient to make proper provision. However, the court held that the difference between the actual sale proceeds and the anticipated sale proceeds were not significant to justify a review.

 

The court stated that it did have jurisdiction to review the previously agreed split pursuant to section 18 (2) of the 1995 Act but could only do so in circumstances where there was new evidence before the court or a change in circumstances.

 

The court had regard to the statement by Denham J in YJ v NG i.e. that the court’s obligation was to make proper provision and not a redistribution of wealth.

 

It also had regard to comments by Abbott J in the case by AK v JK i.e. if the terms made proper provision at the time and if the parties’ circumstances have not changed then it follows that these terms must still constitute proper provision.

 

The court refused the applicant’s request to revise the terms previously agreed.

If you want to find out more about family law please do not hesitate to contact Brendan Dillon on 2960666

 

Important case on significance of previously required assets

 

Important case on significance of previously required assets

 

In a recent High Court Case of DE v FG (January 2019) Judge Binchy set out some interesting statements in relation to assets acquired by one of the parties prior to marriage. When the matter came before the court the children of the marriage were aged 20, 17 and 16 respectfully.

The respondent wife was an EU citizen and had previously had a very successful business with a business partner and was earning a salary in the region of €220,000 per annum in the mid-1990s. The husband (applicant in the proceedings) had worked as an English teacher, then worked in the business owned by the wife and her business partner both of whom had invested €170,000 each in the business. Evidence was given that the husband assisted in the development of the business by establishing contacts with tourist guides and tourists as English was his first language.

The wife then bought out by the business partner for a sum of €205,000 using joint marital funds. Subsequently the business went into decline and was eventually wound down.

The parties had purchased a house for €360,000 which was funded by cash assets from the wife of €126,000 and a mortgage.

The respondent later invested approximately €206,000 to reduce the mortgage down to €28,000.

The business premises was subsequently sold for €116,000 and the family home for €565,000

The parties moved to Ireland. Unhappy differences arose and the husband issued judicial separation proceedings.

The wife claimed that when they got married they were given two different options in relation to the “marriage contract” and where neither option was taken the default marriage contract became applicable i.e. the wife was to be given credit for assets which she owned prior to the marriage. The husband claimed that he was not aware of such a contract and he assumed that because they were getting married that all assets would be split automatically on a 50/50 basis.

In his decision Judge Binchy referred to the statement by Ms Justice Irvine in QR v ST i.e. all assets must be taken into account even those owned pre marriage or from an inheritance where jointly acquired assets were insufficient to make proper provision.

He said that in this particular case given the fact that the pre marital assets i.e. the business had subsequently been wound down, no longer existed the argument in relation to the premarital contract was not relevant. He did make the comment however that there was no evidence before the court of the nature of the marriage contract alleged by the wife i.e. he suggested that where reliance was being placed on the existence of a marriage contract that there needed to be evidence as to exactly what that contract was intended to provide.

He also made the point that it was incorrect for the applicant husband to make any assumption in relation to any assumption as to a 50/50 division of the assets.

He took into account the husband’s age in terms of getting a mortgage as the husband was going to be taking the main responsibility for the children given the fact that the wife was living out of the jurisdiction and had intended to come back to Ireland on an intermittent basis to see the children. He gave the husband 50% of a New Zealand bank account and approximately 40% of assets owned by the wife in Las Vegas. This case reaffirms the view that the courts must focus more on the future than the past in making proper provision for the parties.

If you want to find out more about our approach to family law cases please do not hesitate to contact Brendan Dillon on 2960666

 

High Court Judge reaffirms the factors to be considered by the court

High Court Judge reaffirms the factors to be considered by the court

 

In a recent judicial separation hearing of AOM V FOM Judge Binchy went through the factors set out in section 20 of the Family Law Act 1995 in determining the financial provision orders to be made as part of his order.

In this case the husband had refused to engage in the proceedings and it was proved he had dissipated assets.

Judge Binchy made orders in relation to the husband’s property, division of cash assets as well as share options. Interestingly, he refused to make an order extinguishing the wife’s entitlement to inherit from the husband.

He also made an order for costs in circumstances where the husband had brought the application for judicial separation and then had disengaged from the process.

In making an order in relation to maintenance the Judge took into account the likelihood that the wife would return in the future.

If you want to find out more about our approach to family law cases please do not hesitate to contact Brendan Dillon on 2960666

 

 

The cervical cancer scandal and the interests of the general public

Governing Legislation – The Patient Safety Bill 2018;

                                       Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics 2016 Ed. Medical Council of

                                       Ireland

 

The Patient Safety Bill 2018 – This is a Bill passed in 2018 which requires mandatory open disclosure of serious reportable patient safety incidents, notification of reportable incidents, clinical audit to improve patient care and outcomes and extend the Health Information Quality Authority remit to private health services.

What is a serious patient safety incident? – it is an unintended or unanticipated injury or harm to a service user that occurred during the provision of a health services to include the following;

a). The death of a person

b). A permanent lessening of bodily sensory, motor, physical or intellectual functions (including removal of the wrong limb, or organ or brain damage)

c). Harm that is not severe harm but that results in ; i). an increase in the person’s treatment, ii). Changed in the structure of a person’s body iii). The shortening of the life expectancy of a person iv). An impairment of the sensory, motor or intellectual functions of the person that has lasted or is likely to last for a continuous period of at least 28 days

d). The person requiring treatment by a health practitioner in order to prevent the death of a person or any injury to the person that if left untreated would lead to one or more of the outcomes mentioned above in paragraphs b). or c).

Who is a health-service provider? – it is a person other than a health practitioner who provides one or more health services and for that purpose employs a health practitioner for the provision of health services.

Who is guilty of the offence?Essentially, the registered health service provider and not the registered health practitioner shall be guilty of an offence if the health service provider fails to make a mandatory open disclosure or fails to notify a reportable incident in accordance with the apology and information provision.

Who is required to make the mandatory open disclosure? – This remains unclear. The definition under the bill states that ‘a registered health service provider is one that is intended to cover both public and private health services and those who operate in both public and private sectors whether providing health services through a company, partnership or on their own.

Medical Council of Ireland Guide to professional Conduct and Ethics for Medical Practitioners – provides that patients and their families are entitled, where appropriate, to honest, open and prompt communication about adverse events that may have caused them harm.

-Medical Practitioners should acknowledge that the event happened, explain how it happened, apologise if appropriate and assure patients and their families that the cause of the event will be investigated and efforts made to reduce the chance of it happening again.

 

If you have been affected by the above, or have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Valerie Byrne Senior Legal Executive or Niall MacCarthy Solicitor in our offices on 01 2960666 or e-mail your query to valeriebyrne@dillon.ie or niallmaccarthy@dillon.ie

 

Dillon Solicitors win at Irish Law Awards for the 3rd time in 4 years

Dillon Solicitors win at Irish Law Awards for the 3rd time in 4 years

We are delighted to announce that we have been successful at the Irish Law Awards

This year we won the Excellence in Marketing and Communication award. We were shortlisted along with 7 other firms and needless to say, delighted to win.

We were also shortlisted for Dublin Law Firm of the year and Family Law firm of the year category.

The Irish Law Awards is an annual event designed to recognise excellence in the legal profession. We are delighted with the recognition achieved and believe it reflects on the hard work and commitment of everybody in the Dillon Solicitors Team who work extremely hard to try and meet and exceed our client’s expectations.

We want to take this opportunity to thank you our clients as without you, we could not have the successful firm we have. We continue to strive to improve our standard of service and we look forward to looking after your legal needs in the months and years ahead.

From all at Dillon Solicitors

 

 

New 2 Year Period for Divorce Now Official

New 2 Year Period for Divorce Now Official

The President has signed the 38th amendment of the Constitution (dissolution of marriage) bill of 2006. This means that the 2 year period as a reduction of a 4 year period for separated parties to be entitled to make an application for divorce has now been reduced to 2 years.

In order to now bring an application for divorce parties need to show that they have been living separate and apart for a period of 2 out of the previous 3 years.

For any further information on this or any other family law matter please do not hesitate to contact Brendan Dillon on 01-2960666 or email info@dillon.ie

 

Dillon Solicitors shortlisted for 3 awards in Irish Law Awards

We are delighted to announce that the firm has been shortlisted in the 3 categories in which we entered for the Irish Law Awards 2019 :-

Family Law Firm team of the Year

Communications and Marketing Award

Dublin Law Firm of the Year.

The announcement of the winners will be made at a gala dinner/ prize giving function on the 14th of June.