LOCAL COUNCILS have been granted clearance to access the databases of the national authority in charge of regulating tenancies.
The move marks the latest development in the attempts of city and county councils to identify households on which the €100 household charge has not been paid.
Environment minister Phil Hogan has signed an order permitting councils to ask the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) for their databases of properties across the country.
Property owners who rent out their premises are legally required to register with the PRTB.
Securing access to its database may assist councils in compiling authoritative lists of the properties in their jurisdictions.
It is not clear, however, how much assistance the move will offer – because PRTB databases showing comprehensive lists of the rental properties in each county are already available to the public, and may in fact already have been in use by many councils.
Each individual council is responsible for compiling the list of homes in their area, and to pursue whatever enforcement measures they deem necessary to encourage payment.
Some councils have issued summonses to householders whose charge has not been paid.
Households which pay the charge now would be required to pay €131.24 as a result of interest and late payment fees. Households which have a charge outstanding on them cannot be sold until the charge has been cleared.