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 ?
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