Prior to the sale of a dwelling a vendor must pay all water charges to Irish Water and the vendor must provide his solicitor with a certificate of discharge from Irish Water confirming payment.
If water charges are not payable by a vendor on the dwelling (for example they are payable by a tenant and the landlord has furnish all necessary information to Irish Water), the vendor must supply his solicitor with a statement from Irish Water confirming that the water charges on the dwelling are not the liability of the vendor (property owner).
If the water charges that are payable on a dwelling by the vendor have not been fully paid to Irish Water before the closing of a sale of property the solicitor acting for the vendor will ask the vendor to provide the solicitor with a statement from Irish Water of the amount of water charges outstanding.
If the vendor fails to provide the statement to the solicitor, the solicitor acting for the vendor must request a statement directly from Irish Water of the amount of water charges outstanding.
The solicitor acting for the vendor must then withhold the outstanding water charges from the net proceeds of sale after the discharge of all mortgages and other liabilities relating to the sale. The water charges must be remitted by the solicitor to Irish Water within 20 working days of the completion of the sale of the dwelling.
Irish Water will issue a receipt to the solicitor acting for the vendor. The receipt will be issued in full and final settlement of the solicitor’s obligations.
If there are no net proceeds available the solicitor must notify Irish Water of the situation within 20 working days of the completion of the sale of the dwelling.
The vendor will still remain liable to pay the water charges that are outstanding.
They will not become a liability of the purchaser.
If a tenant wishes to purchase, under a scheme, a dwelling he is letting under the Housing Acts the tenant must discharge all Irish Water charges due and owing by the tenant in advance of the purchase. The sale of the dwelling cannot complete until the tenant provides the local authority with a certificate of discharge from Irish Water confirming that the water charges have been paid.
These rules came into effect on 1 January 2016.
The material in this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or taxation advice. Specific legal and taxation advice should be sought before acting. All information and taxation rules are subject to change without notice.
No liability whatsoever is accepted by M. McLoughlin & Co. for any action taken in reliance on the information in this article