Midlands flooding: humanitarian assistance

Following recent flooding events in Laois and Offaly, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has made the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme available.

This Scheme is for people whose homes have been damaged and who need financial assistance with essential needs and household items. In some cases, the Scheme can cover structural repair.

Read more about the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme.

New guidelines for landlords and tenants

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) has published new guidelines for landlords and tenants.

These detailed guidelines explain what counts as “substantial change” to a rented property to allow a landlord to exceed the cap on rent increases in a Rent Pressure Zone. This cap (4% per year) can only be exceeded if significant changes have been made to the property.

The guidelines also cover what counts as “substantial refurbishment” for the purposes of ending a Part 4 tenancy. A tenancy can only be ended on this ground if the proposed works are substantial and require the property to be vacated.

The RTB has also announced a new one-stop shop website with a webchat facility and an extension of its opening hours.

Read more on rtb.ie

Deadline for Register of Electors: 25 November

To vote in an Irish election or referendum, you must be on the Register of Electors. The Draft Register of Electors for 2018-2019 is now available. You can check it at local authority offices, Garda stations, libraries, post offices, or online at checktheregister.ie, until 25 November 2017. The new Register will come into effect on 15 February 2018.

If you will be aged 18 or over on 15 February 2018, you should check that your name and address are present and correct on the Draft Register. If there is any mistake, tell your local authority before 25 November 2017.

If you are not on the Register and you wish to be included on it, you must fill in form RFA (pdf). If you need to correct or change your entry, you must fill in form RFA1 (pdf).  If you are on the Register but your address has changed, you use form RFA3 (pdf). This will also remove you from the Register for your previous address.

Read more about registering to vote.

Refunds of domestic water charges

The Water Services Act 2017 was signed into law on Friday, 17 November 2017. It provides for the refund of payments made for domestic water charges. Refunds will begin to be issued from today, 20 November 2017.

The amount you paid to Irish Water in domestic billing charges will be refunded to you. To find out how much you are due to be refunded and when you can expect to get your refund, login to your account on water.ie.

Customers who have moved house should contact Irish Water at 1850 448 448 or +353 1 707 2824 to update their details, so that the refund cheque will go to their new address. These lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5:30 pm.

Read more about water charge refunds on water.ie.

Are you registered to vote?

To vote in an Irish election or referendum, you must be on the Register of Electors. The Draft Register of Electors for 2018-2019 is now available. You can check it at local authority offices, Garda stations, libraries, post offices, or online at checktheregister.ie, until 25 November 2017. The new Register will come into effect on 15 February 2018.

If you will be aged 18 or over on 15 February 2018, you should check that your name and address are present and correct on the Draft Register. If there is any mistake, tell your local authority before 25 November 2017.

If you are not on the Register and you wish to be included on it, you must fill in form RFA (pdf). If you need to correct or change your entry, you must fill in form RFA1 (pdf).  If you are on the Register but your address has changed, you use form RFA3 (pdf). This will also remove you from the Register for your previous address.

Read more about registering to vote.

Refunds of domestic water charges

The Water Services Bill 2017 is currently going through the Oireachtas. It provides for the refund of payments made for domestic water charges. Irish Water plans to issue refund cheques to around 990,000 customers after the legislation has been passed.

Customers can log into their My Water account on water.ie, where they can find their WPRN and Account Number, view their previous bills and payments, and check that Irish Water has their correct contact details for refunds.

Customers who have moved house should contact Irish Water at 1850 448 448 or +353 1 707 2824 to update their details, so that the refund cheque will go to their new address. These lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5:30 pm.

Read more on water.ie.