Martin Kelleher MIPAV MCEI is a Clonakilty based Auctioneer and Recognised European Valuer. In each column he analyses the Irish property market and gives advice to renters, buyers and sellers. 023 8859111 www.martinkelleher.ie.
Many of our rental clients have been in touch recently looking for information on how the water charges will affect them as property owners.
Irish Water have made more clarifications recently but for landlords there are still questions outstanding. Of concern to landlords is a recent statement from Irish Water that new legislation will place certain obligations on landlords where tenants have not paid the charges. The fear is that this new legislation may obligate landlords to check if the tenant’s water charges are up to date on vacating the property, and deduct the arrears from the tenant’s deposit.
The main points we know can be summed up as follows:
• The tenant or occupier of the property is liable to pay the water rates.
• Irish Water have confirmed that they will be issuing water charges application forms to the tenancies that they are aware of. If you as landlord receive these forms for your rented property contact your tenants and ask them to complete the application form. They can also be downloaded at www.water.ie. Alternatively contact Irish Water at 1890 448 448 giving them your rental property details and request the pack be sent to the address marked for the occupier. This will enable Irish Water to contact the tenants to complete the registration.
• A water conservation grant of €100 per anum is available for eligible households. Eligible households will have to contact Irish Water before February 2 and the Department of Social Protection will then follow up with those applications.
• If tenants don’t register with Irish Water they will get a default quarterly bill of €65 and will not be entitled to the above mentioned €100 grant.
• If the dwelling is unoccupied the water charges will be incurred at a rate of €125 per annum. If the property is not occupied for a specific period in the year, the charge will be on a pro rata basis.
• Households with a single adult will have an annual charge of €160 for both mains water and sewer and for two adults it will be €260. This is the maximum annual charge (capped until 2018) and in the case of a metered dwelling it is possible to get a refund if the household conserves water underneath the allocated levels. If the property has its own septic tank the costs will be reduced by half.
• Water service charges will apply from January 1, 2015. The first bills will be issued to customers from April 1, 2015 for the quarter and bills will be issued on a quarterly basis thereafter.