Household charge reminders sent to people who paid


HOUSEHOLD CHARGE warning letters seeking payment of €127 including a penalty for late payment have been sent to homeowners who have already paid the charge, the Local Government Management Agency has confirmed.

The first batch of warning letters to owner-occupiers, believed not to have paid the charge, was issued last week. Up to then only landlords or second home owners had been sent letters reminding them of their household charge liabilities.

However, even homeowners who paid the charge before the payment deadline of March 31st are receiving the new letters.

A spokeswoman for the agency said the letters were being issued to people who had paid because of “imperfections” in the data set being used to identify non-payers.

The second home owners who had not paid the charge were identified using the non principal private residence register (NPPR) database and the register of private rented accommodation held by the Private Residential Tenancies Board.

The new letters, sent to single-home owners, use information from the Property Registration Authority.

“The data is in a number of different formats and it was a huge amount of work to try and match it. There has never been data matching like this done before, so there will be imperfections,” the spokeswoman said.

The errors were less likely to occur with the NPPR or tenancy databases as these were more recently established, she said.

Letters may be sent to people who have already paid if their address contains the word “Street” on one database but just “St” on another. Or, if in a rural area, a townland is used in one form of an address and a local village or town in another.

It was not possible to say how many people who have paid have received letters seeking €127, which covers the €100 household charge and penalties and interest. However, she said it was necessary for recipients to ring the number on the letter even if they have paid.

“If they don’t contact the number they are going to get a second letter. They need to phone and quote either their household charge account reference number or their PPS number so it can be verified that they have paid.”

Once their payment has been verified they will receive no further warning letters, she said.