Know Your Rights July 2019

Citizens Information

Know Your Rights:

Regulation of short-term lettings

July 2019


I have a second property, which I would like to rent out to visitors for short stays? Are there any procedures I need to follow?


Yes, there are new regulations for short-term lettings that you may need to follow.  These regulations came into effect on 1 July. They aim to bring properties used for short-term tourist lettings in Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) back to the long-term rental market. The regulations cover people who let out property for short stays (less than 14 days) in RPZs, which are areas where rents are highest and rising quickly. The Residential Tenancies Board has a rent pressure zone calculator where you can check if your property is in an RPZ to see if the regulations apply to you.

If your property is in an RPZ and you want to let it out on a short-term basis for the first time, you will need to get planning permission so it can be used for tourism and short-term letting purposes. If you are already renting your property on a short-term basis, you will need to apply for retention permission. You apply for planning permission to the local planning authority, who will decide on your application within eight weeks. However, it should be noted that in areas of high housing demand, where there is high rent inflation, insufficient supply and lots of applications, it is unlikely that permission will be granted.

The regulations do not apply if your property is outside an RPZ. They also do not apply if your property is a holiday home, or is used for longer-term flexible lettings, or is a normal letting used for longer stays of more than 14 days.

The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government website has an FAQ document about the regulations, which includes further information.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.





Know Your Rights:

Renewing your passport

July 2019


My Irish passport will expire soon. What is the easiest way to renew it?


There are a number of different ways to renew your passport. You can renew your passport online or by post or in person at a Passport Office.

The Online Renewal Service takes about 10 working days to process your application, if all your documents are in order. However, this does not include the time it will take for your passport to be delivered to you by post. An online renewal application for a standard 10-year passport costs €75.

You can submit a paper application using An Post’s Passport Express service. It takes about 15 working days (if your application form is filled in correctly and your documents are in order). The application fee for a standard 10-year passport using this service costs €89.50.

During busy periods, for example, during the summer months, the Online Renewal Service and Passport Express service can have longer turn-around times. You can check current processing times on the Passport Service website.

If you are due to travel in less than 3 weeks, you can apply in person to the Passport Office in Dublin or Cork. You can’t just drop-in, you need to book an appointment online.

The Dublin Passport Office has a Rapid Renewal Service for adults and children who need to travel in less than 3 working days. This service costs more. You can book an appointment for this service online. If you cannot secure an urgent appointment online you should contact the Passport Service on (01) 671 1633.

The Passport Service recommends that you apply for your passport renewal at least 6 weeks before your planned travel date.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.




Know Your Rights:

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance

July 2019



I am getting Jobseeker’s Allowance and my oldest child is starting school this year. Is there a payment to help with the costs of children going to school?


The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BTSCFA) helps you meet the cost of uniforms and footwear for children going to school. Your children must be aged between 4 and 22 on or before 30 September 2019. If they are aged between 18 and 22 they must be in full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college.


To qualify, you must be getting a social welfare payment or taking part in a training, employment or adult education scheme. In general, you must be getting an Increase for a Qualified Child with your payment. People getting the Working Family Payment and the Back to Work Family Dividend can qualify for BTSCFA. Also, your total family income must be below a certain level for your family size. The Allowance is €150 for children aged between 4 and 11 and €275 for those aged between 12 and 22.


The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection pays the BTSCFA automatically to many families. This means that they do not have to apply for the payment. If you qualify automatically, you will be notified by 24 June 2019 and you will get your payment the week beginning 8 July 2019. If you do not get an automatic payment you must apply for the Allowance.
If any of your children are aged 18 or over, you must also apply for the Allowance for them and show evidence that they are in second-level education (even if automatic payments have issued for other children in the family).


From 24 June 2019, you can apply for the Allowance online through You must have a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID account to apply online.

You can also apply using an application form, which is available in all Intreo centres and Social Welfare Branch Offices and online from or you can request a form by texting Form BTSCFA followed by your name and address to 51909 or by emailing


The closing date for applications is 30 September 2019. A dedicated phone line is available to answer your questions from 24 June 2019: (071) 919 3319. If you are refused the Allowance, you can ask for a review of the decision.


Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.


Know Your Rights:

Public Services Card



July 2019



What is the Public Services Card and how do I get one?


The Public Services Card (PSC) helps you to access a range of public services easily. The front of the card holds your name, photograph and signature, along with the card expiry date. The back of the card holds your PPS number and a card number. It also holds a magnetic stripe to enable social welfare payments such as pensions to be collected at post offices. If you are entitled to free travel, the card will also display this information in the top left-hand corner.


Your identity is fully authenticated when it is issued so it saves you having to give the same information to multiple organisations.


You can use the PSC as evidence of identity when applying for a driving licence or learner permit or if you are sitting the Driver Theory Test. In some cases a PSC is required. For example, all first-time passport applicants aged 18 and above who are resident in Ireland need to have one. All applicants for a certificate of naturalisation aged 18 or over who are resident in the State must have a PSC.


A Public Services Card is usually issued when you are allocated a PPS number. If you apply for, or are currently getting a social welfare payment (including Child Benefit) you will be asked to register for your Public Services Card. If you don’t yet have a Public Services Card, you can make an appointment to get one either by using or by calling into your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office. You will need to bring certain documents to prove your identity and a mobile phone that can be used to create a verified account. The process takes about 15 minutes and your PSC is posted out to you and is valid for seven years.


You can get more information on the Public Services Card from and learn more about online public services at MyGovID.



Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by your local Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public.

ARKLOW Citizens Information Centre

73 Lower Main Street, Arklow

Tel: 0761 07 6750


Monday to Friday: 9.30am – 1.00pm; 2.00pm – 5.00pm

BRAY Citizens Information Centre

2 The Boulevard

Quinsboro Road, Bray

Tel:  0761 07 6780 Fax: 01 2116699


Monday to Friday 10.00am – 4.30pm

Tuesdays: 7.30pm—9.00pm



WICKLOW TOWN Citizens Information Centre

9/10 Lower Mall

Tel: 0761 07 6840


Mon 10.00am to 4.30pm

Tues, Wed & Thurs 9.30am – 1.00pm & 2.00pm—5.00pm

Fri 9.30am – 1.00pm


Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.


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