Irish Water Vs Irish Landlords

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Oh it’s fupping on.

Or is it?

Darragh Doyle  writes:

“Almost in direct contradiction to what “they” said here and here. Customer service rep giving out wrong information?”

Anyone?

Update:

Legal Coffee Drinker writes:

“I believe I mentioned in my earlier post (‘No contract No Consent’?), under Section 21 of the Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 (read in conjunction with the definition of ‘customer’ in Section 2 of the same Act) liability for water charges rests on the ‘occupier’ of the premises in respect of which the charges have been levied.

“Where the owner of premises has let premises under a tenancy, he is no longer the ‘occupier’ of that premises for the duration of that tenancy. This is because the essence of a tenancy is that the tenant has exclusive occupation of the premises for the duration of the tenancy, with the landlord no longer having the right to occupy it – or even enter it without the permission of the tenant – during that period.”

In the circumstances, there is no possibility that a landlord could be deemed an ‘occupier’ of premises for the purposes of liability for water charges in respect of any period while a tenancy of that premises is ongoing.

What may have caused confusion is that Section 21(5) provides that the ‘owner’ of premises is deemed to be the occupier of the premises until they prove otherwise. All a landlord has to do is produce a tenancy agreement to remove any contention that they are liabie for water charges for the duration of that agreement, placing this liability for such charges exclusively on the tenant.”

UPDATE:

43 thoughts on “Irish Water Vs Irish Landlords

  1. Atticus

    That’s BS. It’s like saying the Landlord is liable for the Gas & Electricity too.

    I hope the Irish Water employee responsible for their Twitter account doesn’t get their “performance” bonus this year!

    1. Joe Malone

      It’s true I’ve emailed em about it and got the same reply. Inform tenants that you’ll deduct it and any related late payment fines from their deposit, let em know it’ll be cheaper if they set it up and pay it themselves. don’t’ be soft with em.

      1. Mr. T.

        Yeah Joe, because tenants are all w8nkers aren’t they? Treat them all with suspicion!

        I have tenants in a house I own. I treat them with respect, charge them a fair rent and fix things if they break. And do you know what? They pay on time, treat the place well and don’t hassle me for anything they are responsible for. Give respect, get respect.

  2. ahyeah

    No legal basis for that. Would be like trying to make a landlord pay a tenant’s phone bill.

    Sneaky con to put pressure on people in rented homes.

  3. ollie

    irish water know that tenants in apartments won’t pay, so they’re trying to scare landlords into accepting the charges.
    landlords have to register if the rented property is vacant.
    As for me, I’m not paying them a cent.

  4. Murtles

    Irish Water company is so convoluted and fractured that one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing, all the top dogs are just there to rake in the dough as “jobs for the boys” employees. Then they tried to put out their “Head of communications and corporate services”, Elizabeth Arnett who got so flustered during the “they’re not bonuses, they’re preformance related pay awards” that no one believes a word out of her mouth now.

    1. ollie

      Elizabeth arnett, propaganda minister for irish water, formerly propaganda minister for incinerator project.

  5. ollie

    by the way, irish water haven’t switched to the much announced national payments plan for foi requests. good old fashioned cheque or postal order please!

  6. medieval knievel

    having spent quite a bit of time getting to know the people in customer services in irish water, i can confirm they are extremely badly briefed. i was passing information to them at one point which really should have come from internal sources.

  7. Niamh

    What’s the craic for when I move out of a rented property? Do I just do as I would with gas/electricity (take a meter reading and ask for a final bill)?

  8. Ex1Pat

    Will be charging a water deposit on new lettings; very unimpressed that the system forces landlords to underwrite water charges in multi-occupied properties with a single supply and far more unimpressed that the allowances are per household and not per person. This has not been thought through and will result in tenants paying more for their water due to loss of allowances. This area of the operation of Irish Water needs clear reform to protect low rent tenants.

    1. darraghdoyle

      They then followed that one up with:

      https://twitter.com/IrishWater/status/522351630059323392

      “Just to confirm if the tenant does not return the pack the landlord will be liable.”

      As Legal Coffee Drinker said,

      All a landlord has to do is produce a tenancy agreement to remove any contention that they are liable for water charges for the duration of that agreement, placing this liability for such charges exclusively on the tenant.

      Which makes sense.

      My original query was to do with who is eligible to pay bills if the tenant refuses or if there’s a fee for switching the water pressure back on, following non-payment.

      1. Tom Stewart

        Ooops, I had mixed up the chronological order of the following two tweets:

        “To clarify, Irish Water will announce shortly about arrangements for landlords whose tenants haven’t returned applications”

        “Just to confirm if the tenant does not return the pack the landlord will be liable.”

        Clowns. Yes, LCD’s legal advice seems pretty solid. Keep at them about this.

  9. Clampers Outside!

    No matter what goes on here, I’m loving the fact that landlords have to register. Just another way to catch the dodgy ones out !

    I think this is the first bit of good news from IW. They should build an ad campaign around it… hah!

    1. Odis

      Not sure I follow your reasoning there Clampers. Fiddling landlords are by and large small fry.
      I would imagine the professional landlords will merely pass on any extra expenses incurred, to the tenants, on a deal with it or **** off basis, and show these extra costs as tax deductible expenses in their accounts.

      I would if I was a landlord.

  10. Brian S

    I just moved into an apartment. No “application pack” was in the post. Landlord hasn’t gotten one sent to him as the registered owner. 30 mins on hold to Irish water this morning got me nothing (call wasn’t answered) and to register online you need a pin code from the application.

    So I’m considering not registering as I feel like I have exhausted all avenues. If they can’t answer a phone call or email then what can I do?!
    I’m wondering does the legislation give them the power to access data held by the prtb to bill you, even after you’ve moved. As they have your lease date and pps number.

  11. Louis Lefronde

    Thanks Legal Coffee Drinker for managing to clarify the position on Water Charges first of all and then in respect of Landlords.

    1. Tom Stewart

      Yes. His advice seems great. But Irish Water’s most recent response is that the landlord will be liable (in direct contradiction of LCD). Many have asked them to respond on Twitter.

  12. phill sheehy

    wow letting agent just called me there, asking for us to forward the reg number so they can put us on the irish water books. its the fastest response from a letting agent ever, (seriously they have left us with out heat/ washing facilities and ignored all calls) a good time to renegotiate for what you need from them

    1. greylines

      The letting agent wants to set up an IW account on your behalf? I’d suggest you say thanks but no thanks, you’ll take care of it yourself. If they complain, point out there’s data protection laws to consider. (Assuming they’re also asking for your PPS which the agent don’t need under any circumstances and shouldn’t have.) If they’re not asking for it then they’re throng to sign you up without applying for the free allowance which is a decision for you not them.

  13. Mr. T.

    They really haven’t a clue.

    If they realise they are taking to a journo, they become a lot more polite. Otherwise, it’s Pay Up Pixie Head!

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