Irish Water: Levy ‘pro-activity’ urged

The Irish Property Owners’ Association is urging landlords to contact Irish Water to ensure their tenants have registered for the utility.

If they have not registered, the organisation is recommending “that landlords are pro-active” and furnish Irish Water with the name of the occupier so they can be contacted directly.

If the tenant does not register for the utility, and the landlord does not provide Irish Water with the name of the tenant, landlords could potentially be billed for the water used at the rented accommodation.

“Legislation says the owner is considered the occupier unless otherwise stated,” said Irish Water spokeswoman Elizabeth Arnett.

“If we don’t get details we have to send the bill to the landlord and that’s not fair because they’re not the ones using the service.”

But if the landlord gives tenant details to Irish Water, any correspondence, including bills, will be addressed to the occupier directly, and the charge will not revert back to the landlord in cases of non-payment.

“We’re in the countdown to billing which is in early April. It’s a huge logistical operation. We know we won’t get 100% of the bills right in the first run, no utility does,” said Ms Arnett.

In cases of non-payment, Irish Water will “follow up in much the same way the ESB does” by sending warning letters and taking further action if necessary. “It would be dealt with very much on a case by case basis,” she said.

Irish Water has launched a new campaign to get tenants to register with them because, after “sufficient time” given them to register, the utility has had a lower rate of response from tenants than owner-occupied residences.

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