Cllr Seamus Morris
Tipperary County Council has been asked to clear up any anomalies surrounding its decision to harmonise rent increases throughout the county.
The new rent amounts were due to come into effect on July 2, but had to be deferred to the end of the month due to some tenants in the Templemore / Thurles / Roscrea district not receiving notification of the increases.
The call came from Cllr Seamus Morris who said he had rang the HAP offices in Limerick who told him that they had not received any notice of the deferral and were working on the original amendment document from Tipperary County Council to notify of the new differential rents scheme due to start July 2.
"I also spoke to HAP in Clonmel who assure me that the Limerick HAP office were notified of the deferral," he said.
Some tenants began paying their new rent amounts from July 2, when the scheme was due to begin.
However, as a decision as taken to delay the introduction of new rent amounts due to a delay in sending out forms in Templemore, Thurles/ Roscrea district, those tenants were told they would receive credit on their accounts.
Housing officer Donal Purcell told Cllr Morris last week in reply to his queries that tenants had an option of seeking a refund of any increased payment that they had made, or, alternatively, they may wish to pay a lower rent for a number of weeks to reduce any credit on their account.
Cllr Morris has said he’s been contacted by a number of people looking to get their rent overpayments back in place of credit.
He also said that the HAP office in Limerick was telling that people who hadn't paid the rent increase from July 2 that they were now in arrears.
According to Cllr Morris, the HAP offices in Limerick informed him that they have not received any notice of the deferral and are working on the original amendment document from Tipperary County Council – while HAP representatives in Clonmel claim that the Limerick office were notified.
Cllr Morris said the confusion was causing "unnecessary stress" to tenants.
Housing officer Donal Purcell, in his relpy last week to Cllr Morris, said that it was important to note that the council had not deferred the introduction of the new rent scheme.
“At the July County Council meeting the elected members were informed that due to a delay in some tenants in the Templemore / Roscrea area receiving their rent notification letter, increased rents would not apply until July 30 to that particular group,” said Mr Purcell.
He said that when undertaking this and, in order to ensure fairness and equity for all of its tenants, a decision was taken to ensure that all increases to rent accounts would be similarly adjusted to July 30.
“This was done in the form of a retrospective credit to their rent accounts. Tenants now have an option of seeking a refund of any increased payment that they have made. Alternatively, tenants may wish to pay a lower rent for a number of weeks to reduce any credit on their account,” he said.