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Information for Tenants

The RAS Section of Meath County Council Housing Department is currently concentrating on securing contracts on existing Landlords and Tenant files on hand. Until such time as the current backlog is processed we regret that we will not be in a position to assess new applications. Persons on Rent Supplement over 18 months will be called for assessment for RAS in order of length of time on Rent Supplement thereafter. In order to hasten this process, we ask that persons do not ring this office asking for assessment as you will be contacted in due course. We thank you for your patience in this matter.

Information for People Receiving Rent Supplement

The Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) was introduced for people who are receiving rent supplement usually for more than 18 months, and have a long term housing need. The scheme is being run by local authorities. It's aim is to provide good quality rented accommodation for people receiving rent supplement and to help local authorities provide long-term housing for people who need it.

How will the RAS work?

Under the RAS your local authority will help secure a longer contract of tenancy with your existing landlord and will pay rent directly to the landlord. You will still pay rent but you will pay it to the local authority, not your landlord. The rent you pay is based on your income and Meath County Council's Differential Rent Scheme.

How will the RAS benefit you?

The RAS will give you long-term housing security. The RAS will also lead to improvements in the quality and standards of private rented accommodation. If you get a job you can stay in the scheme but you will have to contribute more towards the rent. If any of your income details change your rent will be recalculated.

Who will qualify for the RAS Scheme?

You will qualify for the scheme if you receive rent supplement under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme and you are assessed by the local authority to have a long-term housing need. Due to the numbers of persons in receipt of Rent Supplement in Meath, priority is always given to those on Rent Supplement in excess of 18 months. 

The RAS does not apply to:

• asylum seekers;

• non-nationals who do not have leave to remain in the State permanently

Will I have to move to new accommodation?

Unless the accommodation in which you live does not meet current rental standards and/or if your landlord will not engage in the Scheme you will be left in your current accommodation. Efforts will be made to sign contracts with your existing landlord.

If your accommodation is sub-standard and/or your landlord is not willing to engage with the Scheme you will be advised in the first instance to source alternative accommodation. The Council will assist you if you require assistance.

What happens first?

When you have been in receipt of Rent Supplement for over 18 months, you will be called in for assessment by Meath County Council Housing Department to discuss your housing needs. If you are transferring to the RAS in your current accommodation, the local authority will inspect it and make arrangements with your landlord.

Can I refuse an offer of accommodation?

If you are offered accommodation under the RAS scheme, you can refuse it. However, if you refuse two offers of housing within a twelve month period, the Community Welfare Officer will be notified and they may suspend your rent supplement.  You will not be entitled to any housing support from Meath County Council due to your two refusals for a period of at least one year. 

Does the RAS affect my rights under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2004?

The Rental Accommodation Scheme is governed by The Residential Tenancies Act, 2004.

I am in RAS in another County and want to move to RAS in Meath, how do I apply?

As priority is being given to persons on our waiting list, Meath County Council Housing Department is currently not in a position to accommodate any transfer request from persons living in other counties who are in the Rental Accommodation Scheme in that county . 

For information about obtaining Rent Supplement please contact your local Community Welfare Office at the Department of Social Protection.