Tenants transferring into city won’t be able to pay rent in cash at post offices

Tenants transferring into city won’t be able to pay rent in cash at post offices
Map showing the old city boundary and the new expanded Cork City Council boundary which comes into effect at the end of the month.

CONCERNS have been raised after around 300 housing tenants transferring into Cork city were told they will no longer be able to pay their rent in cash at post offices.

The tenants, who will be transferred into the city under next month’s boundary extension, had been using the An Post BillPay cash system to pay rent to Cork County Council. 

But City Hall does not use the system and has informed tenants they will have to either have their rent deducted from their social welfare payments, set up standing orders, or pay via debit or credit card online or else use the cash office inside City Hall.

Glanmire-based councillor Ger Keohane said this is causing great anxiety among some people who do not have access to the internet or do not have bank accounts.

“People in county council homes are worried about this and it’s coming up a lot when I’m canvassing,” he said.

“A lot of elderly people have their ways of paying bills which they’ve had for years and do all their transactions at the post office.

“They should be accommodated.”

Ned O’Hara, general secretary of the Irish Postmasters Union, said it is unfortunate that Cork City Council does not use An Post’s BillPay service.

“This is another nail in the coffin for post offices. If local authorities will not support a national asset like An Post then what hope have we,” he said.

“I have spoken to An Post who told me that approximately 1,000 social housing tenants are moving from the county to the city and that 300 of these would use the BillPay service in post offices,” he said.

“Post offices are as much a part of the community in urban areas like Cork city as they are in rural areas.”

A spokesperson for An Post said: "Billpay is a well trusted and popular service used by post office customers nationwide to manage their finances.

 "We would be delighted to have Billpay used by City Council clients as it already is by local authority clients across the country, including Cork County Council."

A spokesperson for Cork City Council said the local authority has not received any calls about the issue via its boundary extension information line.

“The BillPay option has not been available as a method of payment in Cork City Council since May 2016,” said the spokesperson.

“Instead, where a person is collecting a Department of Employment and Social Affairs payment at the post office, they can sign up for An Post’s free household budget service which will allow for the easy deduction of their rent from their social welfare payment at source, without any need to have a separate card.”

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