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Management company threatens to cut off water until tenants register with Irish Water

But they say “unclear policies” on water charges have forced their hand.

shutterstock_167854127 Source: Water pipe via Shutterstock

A CO KERRY estate management company has drawn condemnation for sending a letter to tenants threatening to cut off their water supply within a month if they didn’t register with Irish Water.

In the letter, Oakview Properties, which manages the Oakview Village estate in Tralee, blames “unclear policies” for the threat, which they say they are issuing “with regret.”

The 4 December letter, shared with TheJournal.ie, asks tenants who haven’t yet registered with the utility to do so, but warns that:

Oakview Properties will be left with no alternative but to turn off your water supply to your property by 8th January 2015 until registration with Irish Water has been completed [sic].

One tenant, who rents a house in Oakview Village with three other people,  told TheJournal.ie the letter had arrived in the letterbox this morning.

It’s an absolute joke – who do they think they are?

oakview1 Source: TheJournal.ie

While the letter states that the deadline for registration with Irish Water was 30 November, that is not the case – that deadline is 2 February 2015.

A spokesperson for Irish Water emphasised to TheJournal.ie that the utility does not have the authority to cut off the water supply to households, and pointed towards the government as the source of any potential confusion among landlords.

Irish Water is awaiting further clarification on new legislation to be introduced by Government.

A spokesperson for the Department of Environment, meanwhile, told TheJournal.ie that clarity on what happens when a tenant does not pay their charges would come “early in the New Year.”

To avail of the new benefits and to receive an accurate first bill, customers are advised to register with Irish Water by 16 January 2015.
Customers can continue to register after this date, but an accurate first bill is not guaranteed.
The issue of the obligations on landlords and their tenants will be dealt with in legislation early in the New Year.
This legislation will be the subject of extensive stakeholder engagement and pre-legislative scrutiny.

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oakviewletterhead Letterhead from the letter in question. Source: TheJournal.ie

The Oakview Village estate is home to a number of students from IT Tralee.

The college’s students union president Ben Slimm told TheJournal.ie he was “very concerned” about the letter.

We would completely condemn the threat of turning off water to any residential household, regardless of the tenant’s compliance of Irish Water.
As we have some students living in the area, we will strive to ensure that our members are protected from any action which results in denial of water services to their homes.

TheJournal.ie made repeated attempts to contact Oakview Properties for comment.

- First published 7.27 pm

Read: Council tenants could have water charges taken from their rent by local authorities>

Landlords to Irish Water: Don’t expect us to act as your collection agents>

About the author:

Dan MacGuill

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