Rental Accommodation Scheme

What Is The Rental Accommodation Scheme (R.A.S.)?

The Rental Accommodation Scheme or RAS is a private-sector based accommodation option which may be considered to meet the housing needs of persons approved for social housing support and who are in receipt of a Rent Supplement Allowance (from the Department of Social Protection) normally for a period of 18 months+.  It is an alternative option to the provision of Council-owned or Long Term Leased property in meeting housing need.

Under the Scheme, the tenant and/or Sligo County Council source a property, following which the Housing Authority negotiates a contract with the Landlord of the Private Rented Property for the use of their property to meet the immediate and long term housing need of a RAS eligible household.

Landlords do not collect rent from RAS Tenants.  By entering into a 3-way contract with the Housing Authority and a tenant (Known as a Residential Tenancy Agreement), Landlords are guaranteed prompt rent payments each month by Sligo County Council for the duration of the RAS Contract

The tenant does not make any rent contribution to the landlord but instead pays a rent contribution directly to Sligo County Council as per the Councils Differential Rent Scheme.

Please note that as RAS is deemed to be a long term housing support, upon the Household being accommodated under RAS, the Household will be removed from the Housing Waiting List.

Where the Housing Authority is of the view that RAS is the most appropriate form of Social Housing Support for an applicant’s household, a person may transfer onto RAS in one of two ways:

  1. If their current accommodation (in respect of which the household is currently in receipt of  Rent Supplement) meets the household’s accommodation requirements; complies with standards for rented houses and the owner is agreeable to transfer the tenancy to RAS, the tenant  remains in their current accommodation under RAS;
  2. If a Household’s housing need cannot be met in their current accommodation (in respect of which the household is currently in receipt of Rent Supplement) for whatever reason, alternative suitable private rented accommodation may be sourced by the tenant and / or the Council and secured for the Household under RAS.

 

Key Elements of the Scheme

  • The applicant must be in receipt of a rent supplement under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme for a minimum of 18 months.
  • The applicant must have a long-term housing need, as assessed by the Housing Authority.
  • The applicant must have a right to permanent residence in the state.
  • The Council pays the full rent to the landlord on behalf of the tenant.
  • Landlords must register tenancies with the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) and the tenancies are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.
  • The property must meet minimum standards for private rental accommodation as determined by the housing authority.
  • Deposits are not required since the Council has entered into a contract with the landlord.
  • The landlord must agree to the transfer of the tenancy to RAS.
  • The landlord must be tax compliant and have a current Tax Clearance Certificate.
  • Non-residential landlords are also liable to a 20% tax deduction made monthly.  The Landlord may claim tax-credits on this deduction from Revenue.
  • The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 will govern the relationship between the landlord and the tenant.
  • A Building Energy Rating Certificate is required.
  • The property will be required to be provided with 2 working smoke detectors, a fire blanket and a fire extinguisher.
  • Properties for consideration must be Furnished.
  • A completed Inspection/Compliance Report will be required in respect of each property before any agreement is made.

 

Incentives for Tenants

  • RAS will give Tenant long-term housing security.
  • Rent payable by the Tenant is calculated based on the total household income in accordance with Sligo County Council’s Differential Rent Scheme.
  • RAS will lead to improvements in quality and standards of private rented accommodation.
  • If the Tenant secures employment, the Tenant can remain in RAS.  However, a Tenant’s rent payment may need to be revised in order to take account of the change in household income.  The revised rent is assessed in accordance with Sligo County Council’s Differential Rent Scheme.
  • The Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2015 protects the rights of private rented sector tenants after a period of six months.  RAS will not affect the Tenant’s rights under this law.  A RAS Contract outlines all obligations of the Tenant, Landlord and Housing Authority. 

  

Incentives for Landlords

  • Guaranteed medium to long term occupancy, guaranteed income stream payable in advance by EFT from a state agency without having to collect rent. 
  • The landlord will receive prompt payments directly from the local authority for the duration of the RAS contract.

  

Management and Maintenance of RAS Property

The core principal of RAS is that the Landlord and Tenant relationship remains between those parties and the Landlord retains responsibility for the following:-

  • Insurance: property Insurance, contents Insurance and public liability Insurance.
  • The management and maintenance of the property including routine maintenance / repair and replacement of equipment and all furnishings and fittings. 

Addressing Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) issues - dealing with breaches of the tenant's obligations to the landlord should they arise. 

  

The Landlord and/or the Property must comply with the following requirements

  • The property must meet minimum standards for private rental accommodation as determined by the Housing Authority;
  • Deposits are not required since the Council has entered into a contract with the Landlord;
  • The Landlord must agree to th transfer of the Tenancy to RAS;
  • The Landlord must be Tax compliant (a TC2 Tax Clearance Certificate is required);
  • Non-residential Landlords require a TC2 but are also liable to a 20% tax deduction made monthly.  The Landlord may claim tax-credits on this deduction from Revenue;
  • The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 - 2015, will govern the relationship between the Landlord and the Tenant;
  • A Building Energy Rating Certificate is required;
  • The property will be required to be provided with Two working Smoke Detectors, a Fire Blanket and a Fire Extinguisher;
  • Properties for consideration must be Furnished;
  • Landlord must confirm that all Household Charges/Taxes are paid in respect of the Property;
  • An Inspection/Condition Report will be required/completed in respect of each property before any Agreements are made.

 

If you own a property in Sligo which you are interested in making available under RAS, please contact Eithne Currid on 071-9111231 or e-mail – ecurrid@sligococo.ie