Question to the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government (Mr. Alan Kelly, TD)
To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide an update on his plans to make arrangements for the payment of water charges where tenants in private rented accommodation have not paid; if landlords will be deemed liable for unpaid water charges; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer
For WRITTEN ANSWER on Tuesday, 10 February 2015.
Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels. The occupier of a property is liable to pay the water charges bill, and legislation provides that the owner is the occupier unless the contrary is proven. Irish Water is providing landlords with the opportunity to prove that they are not the occupier by providing the tenants name. This will allow Irish Water to contact the tenant to complete the registration and to bill the tenant. The tenant will have to register with Irish Water to avail of the water conservation grant or to get lower charges than the default capped charge (€260), where they are single adult occupants or their metered usage is less than the maximum charge.
My Department is consulting with the local government sector, social housing providers and landlord and tenant representatives in the course of drafting legislation to give effect to measures proposed in relation to tenants and unpaid water charges. Further details on the modalities involved will be available on publication of the draft legislation following the completion of the necessary consultations with relevant representative organisations.