Thursday, February 20, 2020

Know your rights: Rent pressure zones


Know your rights: Rent pressure zones

Question 
What is a rent pressure zone?

Answer
A rent pressure zone (RPZ) is an area where rents cannot be increased by more than 4% each year. They are areas where rents are above the national average and rising quickly. Rent pressure zones are intended to control the rise in rents in these areas. An area must meet specific criteria to become a rent pressure zone.

Most rent increases in rent pressure zones are capped at 4% and there are limits on how often the rent can be reviewed. There are different rules about the limits and frequency of rent reviews, depending on whether the tenancy in the rent pressure zone is an existing or new tenancy.

However, not all properties in rent pressure zones are subject to the 4% restriction. Some properties are exempt. A landlord can seek an exemption for: 
A property that has not been let at any time in the previous two years
A property where no previous tenancy existed that is a protected structure, or  in a protected structure or proposed protected structure and has not been let in the previous 12 months
Properties that have been substantially changed (the RTB website has full details of the types of substantial change required)

Designated rent pressure zones will be in place until 31 December 2021. You can find out if you live in a rent pressure zone by visiting citizensinformation.ie. Further information on rent pressure zones and a calculator to calculate the maximum allowable rent in a rent pressure zone is also available from onestopshop.rtb.ie/rent-pressure-zones.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens Information Service CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public. 
Tel: 0761 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Know your rights: Voting in the general election


Know your rights A: Voting in the general election

Question
Can I vote in the general election on 8 February?

Answer
To vote in an Irish general election, you must be an Irish or British citizen, 18 years of age or over and registered to vote. This means your name must be entered on one of the following:
·     The main Register of Electors
·     The Postal Voters List (people who can vote by post)
·     The Special Voters List (people who are living in a nursing home or other institution)
·     A supplement to one of these 3 lists
The 2019-20 Register of Electors and its Supplement will be used in the general election on 8 February. The 2020-2021 Register comes into effect on 15 February 2020, after the election.

To make sure you are on the 2019-20 Register, go to checktheregister.ie, or contact your local authority, Garda station, post office or public library.

If you are not on the Register, you can:
·     Contact your local authority to check if you are on the Supplement to the 2019-2020 Register. If you are on the Supplement, then you are registered to vote in the general election.
·     If you are not on the Supplement, you can register to be included in the Supplement using form RFA2. If you have changed address you use form RFA3.

Forms must be received by your local authority before close of business on 22 January 2020.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens Information Service CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public.
Tel: 0761 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Know your rights: Drink driving

Question
What are the legal alcohol limits for driving?

Answer
It is an offence to drive in a public place if you are too intoxicated to have proper control of your vehicle. An intoxicant can be either alcohol or drugs, or both.

It is also an offence to drive in a public place if the level of alcohol in your blood, breath or urine is above the prescribed alcohol limit. There are different alcohol limits for experienced drivers and new drivers. New drivers are drivers with learner permits or drivers who have held a driving licence for 2 years or less, or people without a valid licence or permit.

The legal limits for fully-licenced drivers are:
·         50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood
·         67 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine
·         22 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
The legal limits for professional, learner and novice drivers are:
·         20 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood
·         27 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine
·         9 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
GardaĆ­ can set up a roadblock to conduct random alcohol and drug testing. It is unlawful to refuse to be breathalysed, and you can be fined up to €5000, or be imprisoned for up to 6 months, or both. Penalties for drink driving vary depending on the amount of alcohol that has been detected in your system. The court will also take into account whether this is your first offence or otherwise.

All drink driving offences result in disqualification from driving for at least 3 months.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens Information Service CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public.
Tel: 0761 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. RoscommonInformation is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.