Information for Landlords
The Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) was introduced to cater for the accommodation needs of persons who are in receipt of rent supplement, normally for more than 18 months, and who have a long-term housing need (with certain exclusions).
What are the Main Features of the Scheme?
Local authorities will enter into contractual arrangements with Property Owners/Landlords to secure the medium to long-term availability of private rented accommodation for the RAS.
While different contract types may be entered into [see below] they will have in common the following main features:
• the local authority will pay the full rent to the landlord on behalf of the tenant;
• the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, will govern the relationship between the landlord and the tenant;
• the landlord must be tax compliant;
• the landlord must provide a Building Energy Rating Certificate (BER)
• the property must meet minimum standards for private rental accommodation as determined by the local authority; and
• the landlord must have registered, or agree to register the tenancy with the Private Rented Tenancies Board (PRTB).
How does RAS work?
RAS involves a three-way relationship between:
• the local authority and the landlord;
• the landlord and the tenant;
• the tenant and the local authority.
Meath County Council will seek to enter into a contractual arrangement with the Landlord to make housing available to the RAS for an agreed term. The terms of this contract will be negotiated between the two parties. The accommodation may be an existing property or new build. Meath County Council will guarantee the rent on behalf of the tenant and will undertake to make the full payment directly to the landlord.
Usually there is an existing tenant of the property who currently receives rent supplement and is eligible for the RAS. In other cases Meath County Council Housing Department will nominate a RAS recipient to the accommodation who signs a residential tenancy agreement with the landlord. Meath County Council Housing Department will be party to this agreement as guarantor of the rent.
Finally, the RAS recipient and the local authority agree that the local authority will make payments to the landlord on the recipient’s behalf.
What contractual arrangements will exist between the Landlord/Agent and the local authority?
There are two standard template contracts for RAS used by Meath County Council.
(A) Availability type arrangements. In Meath this is a 5 year agreement between landlords and Meath County Council. Generally this agreement is only entered into in areas where there is a high demand for RAS property and where the property is of a very high standard. If a tenant leaves during the 5 year period Meath County Council will make every effort to source a new tenant for the remainder of the term of the contract.
(B) Tenancy by Tenancy arrangements. This is the more widely used contract in Meath. It is used where the landlord is happy with the existing tenant and where the landlords wants control over who will reside in the property. When the tenant leaves the contract ends.
Landlord & Tenant Relationship and Responsibilities of Landlord.
The key “landlord and tenant” relationship remains between the property owner and the former rent supplement recipient. The local authority will act as broker or agent on behalf of the tenant.
As such, the landlord will retain responsibility for:
1. Insurances - property, landlord’s contents and public liability;
2. All Maintenance/Repair and replacement of equipment; and
3. Dealing with breaches of the tenant’s obligations to the landlord should they arise.
How will rent levels be determined?
Rent levels will reflect local market conditions but must show an 8% reduction on current market rents applicable at time of contract signing.
Deposits and Damage to Property
No deposits will be paid under the RAS as a contractual arrangement will exist between the landlord and the local authority. However, where damage is caused to property, which is above routine wear and tear, the housing authority may be willing to guarantee the equivalent of up to one month’s rent towards the cost of repair/replacement. This condition will not apply where the Landlord is already holding a deposit in respect of the tenant.
How to become involved in the RAS?
Landlords with eligible Social Welfare Allowance (SWA) rent supplement tenants will be approached by the relevant local authority and invited to participate in the RAS, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria.
Local Authorities are statutorily obliged to transfer all existing eligible rent supplement tenants to RAS. Where their existing landlords do not wish to participate in the RAS, alternative properties will be secured.
If you do not currently have a rent supplement tenant but are interested in participating in the RAS, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 046 - 9097279.
You can register your interest as a Landlord in the Rental Accommodation Scheme by completing the Rental Accommodation Scheme Questionnaire below.
The above information is a guideline only. There are further criteria that must be met before an agreement can be finalised under the Rental Accommodation Scheme