Water Charges – Rented Properties – Who Pays?

Water Charges are on the way – but who will be expected to pay this new charge?
Charging for water started on 1st Jan 2015 with the first quarterly bills arriving in  April 2015. The  charges have been published – and you can see here    Water Charges – How Much ?

Water Supply
You  will be charged for the supply of water if  your home is connected to the public water main . If you are on a group water scheme and already pay for water OR if you have a private well – then Irish Water will not be charging you for water supply.

Irish Water will also be responsible for billing households  for wastewater treatment – so if your home is connected to a public sewer you will be charged for that too. The waste water leaving your home will be assumed to be the same amount as that consumed.

You will not be charged by Irish Water for wastewater if  you have a septic tank or other on-site wastewater treatment system. (You may be asked for proof of registration of the waste treatment stystem to avoid this component of the bill)

Tenant or Landlord
The Water Services legislation states that the occupier of a property is liable for water charges . But it also states that ” It shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that the owner of a premises is also the occupier of that premises”

Irish Water will be sending out forms to ask people to sign up as customers.  If you are a landlord  and you get an application pack in your name  addressed to the rental property – you should not fill it out . You should  either post the form to your tenant for completion, or give the tenant the application number and PIN (at the top right-hand side of the form) and ask them to call Irish Water at  1890 448 448 or 01 707 2824 to provide household details .

Landlords Irish Water  have said they do not require property owners to provide information in respect of their rented occupied properties during the main application” campaign”.

After the main “application campaign”  property owners will be “provided an opportunity”  to advise Irish Water of properties neither vacant nor occupied by the owner themselves … and for which no response has yet been received.

If a tenant signs up for Irish Water but doesn’t pay the bills – the landlord will not be liable for the charges.
If a tenant doesn’t reply and set up an Irish Water account  – then ultimately the owner may be treated as liable unless they can prove otherwise.

Closing Accounts – Irish Water say that f the Customer is not the Owner of the Premises, Irish Water shall retain the Owner’s details on its Customer database so that, in the event that the Occupier leaves the Premises, the Owner shall be the Customer from the date notified by the Occupier to Irish Water as being the date from which the Occupier wishes to close their account for that Premises .

Irish Water took over the management of business water and wastewater services from the local authorities in January 2014. Businesses already pay for their water. The charges differ from county to county and these  charges are expected to remain the same while Irish Water get established – but changes to the rates are possible from 2016.

How Much Will it Be ?

The  charges have been published – and you can see here    Water Charges – How Much ?

On unmetered homes there will be no way of measuring usage – so Irish Water are going to apply an “assessed charge” based on an assumed usage for household size.
Details of the unmetered Irish Water charges here

8 thoughts on “Water Charges – Rented Properties – Who Pays?

  1. Hi, as landlords we are concerned about the 125 charge for an unoccupied property. As a landlord,my apartment will become vacant as leases expire and in between lettings. Does this mean as a landlord that I am liable for 31.25 for every quarter the apartment is vacant ? As we all know these charges will be increasing every few years.
    If it becomes vacant during a quarter and into another quarter, could I be liable for the full 61.50 ie 2 quarter fee.

    As I own a few apartments in one house, and like to offer flexible terms to tenants ie to say you can stay 3 months or u can stay for a few years, I often have several vacancies during the year.

    Should we just put the bill for the house into the landlord’s name or should I let the tenants put it into their name. I want to be fair to tenants and get them the best deal, but also not to lose out.
    Thanking you. Mary and Micheal

    thanks Mary

    • The charges will only be made for the actual number of days it is vacant – not for a whole quarter. Basically
      34c a day. If a tenant leaves and closes his water account and a new tenant moves in 3 weeks later – you as owner will be liable for the 3 weeks charge (unoccupied) – which would be 21 time 34c = €7.14

      • Thanks for that information. It is useful. It does make one wonder though, as there was supposed to be no standing charge. Surely residential property is different to a holiday home. Residential let property is generally owned by small business owners and we all know there is a shortage of good quality affordable accommodation at present. This is a form of standing charge as it is not a useage charge. Like the electricity suppliers who have a residential and business standing charge, this fee of 34 cent per day could increase when irish water realise they can make a profit from same ie no actual water use yet they can charge.

  2. Hi, any information for students living in student accommodation? I will be living in my apartment until may 2015 but my present room mate will be moving out at Christmas and if the landlord have another student to move in they will be moving in in January. How will the bill work? Is there any allowances for students in full-time education?

    • No specific allowances for students.
      In an unmetered property the bill will be based on number of adults in the property.
      If the number of people changes – Irish Water’s charges plan states that only changes that last more than 90 days (3 months) will affect the charge. So – going from 2 people to 1 for a couple of weeks will not affect your unmetered bill. Also – going from 2 to 3 people for less than 90 days will not affect the bill.

  3. Hi,
    What should I do if I am a tenant and I discovered a leak in the house I am renting? The agency sent a plumber who didn’t seem to know what was going on. I phoned them and e mailed them but it is been a week and nobody showed up to diagnose and fix it. I chcecked the meter and the numbers are double in comparison to the neighbours and our family is smaller :/ Who is liable for it? This is not my property, It is physically imposible for me and a child to use 1000 liters per day ( as this is what the meter shows us). Irish Water says it’s not their responsibility, the Letting Agency is unresponsive 🙁 I am really worried and seem to be left in the middle. Any advice?

    • Have you checked if the meter reading rises overnight when no water is being used?
      If there is a leak in or udber the property (including garden) – the landlord is responsible for fixing it. The trouble is – you are liable for the bill.
      Good news is that metered bills are capped for 9 months at the assessed rate – so you have about 8 months before you start getting charged for any excess usage.
      First thing is to 100% verify a leak by checking the meter before and after several hours of non use of water.

  4. Oh, I did. It rises by up to 400 liters per night. Once I closed the water valve, when I opened it in the morning, the meter went crazy and stopped at 300 liters usage, although we didn’t use waterat all. There was a sound of the boiler in the hot press filling up. The plumber didn’t seem to understand it, neither did I. The plumber disappeared since, sugesting I must have used the water, I don’t know – sleepwalking maybe, I stayed with the trouble. I could call somebody else but should I, if it’s not my property and I shouldn’t be paying for fixing it. :/ I sense trouble in the future……

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