Landlords, tenants and Irish Water registration

Irish Water has launched a new campaign asking owners of multiple properties to confirm their property details. If the property is occupied, landlords can now provide names of the tenants. Irish Water will then contact the tenants and ask them to provide their details.

This will ensure that the bill for water services is issued to the person getting the service. In general the occupier of a property is liable to pay the new domestic water charges. For rented properties, the tenant is the occupier and is responsible for paying the water charges. If a property is vacant the owner is responsible.

 Read more about water charges in our document.

Voting in Ireland

If you are an Irish citizen, you have the right to vote in all referenda and elections in Ireland. To exercise that right, you must ensure that your name has been entered on the Electoral Register.

If you are resident in Ireland but not an Irish citizen, you also have the right to vote in some elections. The type of election you can vote in depends on your citizenship.

  • British citizens may vote in Dáil, European and local elections
  • Other EU citizens may vote in European and local elections
  • Non-EU citizens can vote in local elections only

However if you are an Irish citizen living abroad you cannot be entered on the Register of Electors. This means that you cannot vote in an election or referendum here in Ireland. (The only exception to this is in the case of Irish officials on duty abroad (and their spouses or civil partners) who may register on the postal voters list).

Find out more about registering to vote

What do weather warnings mean?

Weather warnings are presented in three categories:

STATUS YELLOW – Weather Alert – Be Aware

YELLOW level weather alerts notify those who are at risk because of their location and/or activity, and allow them to take preventative action. YELLOW level weather alerts are for weather conditions that do not pose an immediate threat to the general population, but only to those exposed to risk by nature of their location and/or activity.

STATUS ORANGE – Weather Warning – Be Prepared

An ORANGE level weather warning is for weather conditions that can impact significantly on people in the affected areas. People in the affected areas should prepare themselves for the anticipated conditions.

STATUS RED – Severe Weather Warning – Take Action

The issue of RED level severe weather warnings should be a comparatively rare event. Following the issue of a RED alert people should take action to protect themselves and/or their properties; this could be by moving their families out of the danger zone temporarily; by staying indoors; or by other specific actions aimed at mitigating the effects of the weather conditions.

You can visit Met Éireann for a detailed explanation of weather warnings; when they are issued and the criteria for each warning level.

Find out about the Ombudsman for Children

The Ombudsman for Children (OCO) is a quasi-judicial body with a mandate to accept and investigate complaints about how the State is providing services or making decisions about children. The OCO can:

Find out more about the work of the Ombudsman for Children. 

Know your rights: Back to Work Family Dividend // An Díbhinn Teaghlaigh um Fhilleadh ar Obair

Question

I am unemployed, married with three children and getting Jobseeker’s Allowance. I would like to get back to work. I have heard there is a new payment to help with this situation.

Answer

The Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD) gives financial support to people with children who were getting jobseeker’s or one-parent family payments and who either take up employment, increase their hours of employment or become self-employed.

The scheme is not yet operational but applications for the scheme are being accepted from 5 January 2015. No payments will be made until April 2015 and all eligible claims will be backdated to the date of application.

If you qualify for the scheme you will get a weekly payment for up to 2 years. You will be paid the equivalent of any Increases for Qualified Children that were being paid on your jobseeker or one-parent family payment (up to a maximum of 4 children) for the first year in employment. Half of that amount will be paid weekly for the second year.

You can combine time on a jobseeker’s payment with time spent on education, training or employment schemes to meet the eligibility requirements.

To qualify, you and all members of your family (including your adult dependant) must sign off all social welfare payments. The Back to Work Family Dividend cannot be paid with any other primary social welfare payment – with the exception of Child Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance and Family Income Supplement (FIS). The Back to Work Family Dividend is not taken into account in the means test for FIS.

You can contact your Intreo centre or local social welfare office to get more information on the scheme.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Ceist

Táim dífhostaithe, pósta le triúr leanaí agus tá Liúntas Cuardaitheora Poist á fháil agam. Ba mhian liom filleadh ar an obair. Chuala mé go bhfuil íocaíocht nua ann chun cabhrú leis an gcás seo.

Freagra

Tugann an Díbhinn Teaghlaigh um Fhilleadh ar Obair (DTFAO) tacaíocht airgeadais do dhaoine ag a bhfuil leanaí a raibh íocaíochtaí cuardaitheora poist agus teaghlach aontuismitheora á bhfáil acu a ghlacann le fostaíocht, a mhéadaíonn a n-uaireanta fostaíochta nó a thugann faoin bhféinfhostaíocht.

Níl an scéim i bhfeidhm go fóill, ach táthar ag glacadh le hiarratais ar an scéim ón 5 Eanáir 2015 ar aghaidh. Ní dhéanfar aon íocaíochtaí go dtí Aibreán 2015 agus déanfar gach éileamh incháilithe a shiardhátú chuig dáta an iarratais.

Má cháilíonn tú don scéim, gheobhaidh tú íocaíocht sheachtainiúil ar feadh a fhad le 2 bhliain. Íocfar leat comhionann aon Mhéaduithe do Leanaí Cáilithe a bhí á n-íoc leat ar d’íocaíocht chuardaitheora poist nó d’íocaíocht teaghlach aontuismitheora (a mhéid le ceathrar leanaí) don chéad bhliain fostaíochta. Íocfar leath na suime sin gach seachtain i gcaitheamh na dara bliana.

Féadfaidh tú an t-am a chaitear le híocaíocht chuardaitheora poist a fháil a chur san áireamh leis an am a caitheadh ar scéimeanna oiliúna nó fostaíochta chun na ceanglais cháilitheachta a chomhlíonadh.

Chun cáiliú, ní mór duitse, agus gach duine muinteartha i do theaghlach (do dhuine fásta cleithiúnach san áireamh) díshíniú d’aon íocaíochtaí leasa shóisialaigh a fháil. Ní féidir an Díbhinn Teaghlaigh um Fhilleadh ar Obair a íoc le haon íocaíocht leasa shóisialaigh eile – seachas Sochar Linbh agus Forlíonadh Ioncam Teaghlaigh (FIT). Ní chuirtear an Díbhinn Teaghlaigh um Fhilleadh ar Obair san áireamh sa tástáil mhaoine don FIT.

Féadfaidh tú teagmháil a dhéanamh le d’ionad Intreo nó d’oifig áitiúil leasa shóisialaigh chun teacht ar bhreis faisnéise faoin scéim.

Need help to quit smoking?

If you would like to quit smoking in 2015 the HSE has a new QUIT personal support service to help you – providing a team of trained advisors, interactive digital tools, empathy and support. The service is free.

Quitters are offered a 20 minute phone consultation, which can be scheduled for any convenient time, where their own smoking habits, triggers and reasons to QUIT are analysed. If the smoker is ready to quit they set the date. The quit team calls on that date and once a week for the first 4 weeks. There are follow-up calls at 3 months and 12 months.

Contact the team on Freephone 1800 201 203, Freetext QUIT to 50100, tweet @hseQUITteam or join the Facebook page: facebook.com/HSEquit.

Visit the website at quit.ie.

 

 

 

Know your rights: Rent increases // Méaduithe cíosa

Question

I have been renting an apartment for over a year and my landlord phoned me last week to tell me that he is increasing my rent. Does he have the right to do this?

Answer

The amount of rent payable for a property is agreed between the landlord and tenant at the start of a tenancy. If you are living in private rented accommodation, under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, your landlord must follow certain procedures if he wants to raise the rent.

Your landlord has the right to review the rent once a year. A rent review can result in an increase or reduction of the rent. Unless the accommodation has changed substantially, it cannot be reviewed more often than this, or during the first 12 months of the tenancy.

Your landlord must give you at least 28 days’ notice of the amount of the proposed new rent and the date from which it is to take effect. The notice must be in writing. Emails, text messages and phone calls are not valid forms of notice.

Threshold, the national housing charity, publishes detailed advice on how to deal with rent increases, including a list of tips on dealing with your landlord. You can contact Threshold for advice on your particular situation by calling 1890 334 334 or through their website, threshold.ie.

The Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) deals with disputes between landlords and tenants, including disputes about rent reviews. If there is any dispute about the amount of rent being proposed, either side can refer the dispute to the PRTB. If the landlord has given you a valid written notice of the rent increase, you must contact the PRTB with your dispute before the date that the new rent comes into effect or within 28 days of getting the notice, whichever is later. There is no time limit if the notice is not valid.

You must continue to pay your current rent until the case has been determined by the PRTB.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Ceist

Tá árasán ar cíos agam le breis agus bliain agus chuir mo thiarna talún glao gutháin orm an tseachtain seo caite le hinsint dom go mbeidh mo chíos á mhéadú aige. An bhfuil an ceart aige seo a dhéanamh?

Freagra

Déantar comhaontú ar an méid cíosa atá le híoc ar mhaoin idir an tiarna talún agus an tionónta ag tús tionóntachta. Má tá tú i do chónaí i gcóiríocht phríobháideach ar cíos, faoi Acht na dTionóntachtaí Cónaithe, 2004, ní mór do do thiarna talún roinnt imeachtaí a leanúint más mian leis an cíos a ardú.

Tá an ceart ag do thiarna talún chun an cíos a athbhreithniú uair sa bhliain. Féadfaidh méadú nó laghdú an chíosa eascairt as athbhreithniú cíosa. Murar tháinig athrú substaintiúil ar an gcóiríocht, ní féidir athbhreithniú níos minice ná seo a dhéanamh, agus ní féidir athbhreithniú a dhéanamh le linn na chéad 12 mhí den tionóntacht.

Ní mór do do thiarna talún fógra 28 lá, ar a laghad, a thabhairt duit ar mhéid an chíosa nua a bheartaítear agus ar an dáta óna mbeidh sé le cur i bhfeidhm. Ní mór go mbeidh an fógra i scríbhinn. Ní foirmeacha bailí d’fhógra iad ríomhphoist, teachtaireachtaí téacs agus glaonna gutháin.

Foilsíonn Threshold, an carthanas náisiúnta tithíochta, comhairle mhionsonraithe ar conas déileáil le méaduithe cíosa, lena n-áirítear leideanna ar conas déileáil le do thiarna talún. Féadfaidh tú teagmháil a dhéanamh le Threshold chun teacht ar chomhairle ar do chás ar leith trí ghlao ar 1890 334 334 nó trína láithreán gréasáin, threshold.ie.

Déileálann an Bord um Thionóntachtaí Cónaithe Príobháideacha (an BTCP) le díospóidí idir tiarnaí talún agus tionóntaí, lena n-áirítear díospóidí faoi athbhreithnithe cíosa. Má bhíonn aon díospóid faoin méid cíosa atá á bheartú, féadfaidh cibé duine an díospóid a chur faoi bhráid an BTCP. Má thug an tiarna talún fógra bailí scríofa ar an méadú cíosa, ní mór duit teagmháil a dhéanamh leis an BTCP le do dhíospóid roimh an dáta a thiocfaidh an cíos nua i bhfeidhm nó laistigh de 28 lá tar éis an fógra a fháil, pé ceann is déanaí. Níl aon teorainn ama i gceist mura bhfuil an fógra bailí.

Ní mór duit leanúint le do chíos reatha a íoc go dtí go bhfuil cinneadh déanta ag an BTCP ar do chás.