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Irish Water: How the water charge effects the sale of your property.

There is much debate and controversy surrounding the creation and execution of the water charges and the company Irish Water. Yet, many still do not realise the implications of not paying or refusing to sign up to this organisation when it comes to selling or purchasing a residential property.

Conveyancing solicitors have been charged with being the “gatekeepers” of this payment – similar to the collection of Local Property Tax (LPT), Non Principal Private Residence Tax (NPPR) and household charge. As such, they must either ensure the charge has been paid before selling the property or collect the payment on behalf of Irish Water. This means the money for Irish Water will be withheld by the solicitor from the proceeds of the sale and paid to Irish water within 20 days of receiving the money.

If the seller refuses to pay the charge, it will be held as a charge against the property as with any other outstanding utility payment. The solicitor will have to be provided with a certificate of discharge from Irish Water to prove the payment was made. The vendor will also have to notify Irish Water of the change of address so the account address can be changed for the customer.

Another point of note when selling a property is that it cannot be sold if the seller has not signed up as a customer of Irish Water and paid the charge.

Although many will be opposed to these measures, it is a necessary part of the conveyancing process which must be complied with should the sale be completed.

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