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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 4 June, 2020
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I'm a landlord, and my tenant won't pay water charges ... Who's liable?

If you’re a landlord, you may not like the answer to this one…

Image: Water Tap via Shutterstock

Updated at 4pm.

WHO PAYS FOR water?

Well, as we established at the start of the month, who-ever’s living in a particular household.

In other words — if you use it, you pay for it.

Where rental properties are concerned “it’s the tenant who pays” an Irish Water spokesperson confirmed.

But what if you’re a landlord, and your tenant is refusing to fork out, or even register for the charge?

That very question was put to the semi-state on Twitter today…

Contacted for more detail, Irish Water sent us the following statement…

“Irish Water wishes to clarify information on responsibility for water charges in a tenant/landlord situation following a post that appeared on its Twitter account today.

“Irish Water would like to clarify that the consumer of services is responsible for the water charges.

“If you live in the property you own then you are responsible; if you rent a property to a tenant then the tenant is responsible; if you own a vacant property then you as the owner are responsible.

“Should a tenant vacate a property without paying their bill in full or refuse to pay their bill, Irish Water can pursue the account holder as a contract debt through the courts.

It concludes…

Irish Water is currently developing a mechanism to provide landlords with a means to prove they are not the occupier of a house they have rented out if a tenant is refusing to pay their water charges.

We’ve called to ask for further clarification on this, and we’re awaiting a response — but from the statement above, it looks like landlords will be liable for the charges in such instances, as work continues to develop the ‘mechanism’ mentioned.

In fact, the company’s current line on Twitter confirms as much. This was posted after we received the statement…

Read: Ministers WILL have to pay water charges for their second homes, after all

Read: I rent my home, who pays for my water?

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