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Irish Water sends letter to apartment with bank details of previous tenant

Irish Water customers had their bank details sent to their landlords last year.

Image: Shutterstock/RTimages

A MAN WHO is renting in Blackrock, Dublin received a letter to his apartment from Irish Water containing the bank details of the previous tenant.

The man registered with Irish Water on January 5 after moving into his new home and called the utility to ensure it had updated the records for the apartment.

However, last Friday a letter arrived to the property from Irish Water with a different name on it.

As well as the name being mixed up, the letter also contained bank details of the previous tenant, including their BIC, IBAN and full name.

Irish Water insists there was no issue as the banking details of the previous tenant, “addressed to them personally, were sent out to their old address under SEPA rules before we confirmed with the new tenant, that the details of the tenancy had changed and in the absence of the previous tenant telling us they no longer lived at this address”.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, the utility added, “There is no data protection issue here as the SEPA confirmation letter was addressed to the person who had provided their banking details. The tenant information on our database is now correct following the current tenants call today and the bill will be issued to that tenant.”

When the new tenant called Irish Water to tell them what had happened he says he was kept on the phone for 45 minutes and told that their system was refusing to delete the person’s details and update them to his.

When he asked if it was normal practice to send back bank details, he was told by the woman on the phone that she didn’t know what was sent out and she couldn’t transfer him to someone who knew.

The man got in contact with Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan over the weekend. Boylan told TheJournal.ie, “What shocked him most was if this was common practice.

He works in computers and is concerned because he knows how easily these systems can be hacked.

Irish Water says it now has the correct tenant information for the householder currently living at this address thanks to the tenant making contact with them.

There is no data protection issue here as the SEPA confirmation letter was addressed to the person who had provided their banking details.

“The tenant information on our database is now correct following the current tenants call today and the bill will be issued to that tenant.”

It comes after bank details of Irish Water customers were sent to their landlords at the end of last year.

Read: New scandal: 10 Irish Water customers had their bank details sent to their landlords>

Read: Irish Water apologises after sending letters to man six years dead>

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