Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Information

What is the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP)?

Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a form of social housing support. HAP has replaced Rent Supplement for those with a long term housing need.   
  

Monthly Housing Assistance Payments for County Sligo

Single SharedCouple SharedSingleCoupleCouple/One Parent Family 1 ChildCouple/One Parent Family 2 ChildrenCouple/One Parent Family 3+ Children
€220 €250 €460 €490 €550 €575 €600

 

See further information and booklets below.

  

Am I eligible to apply?

Households applying for HAP must be a qualified for social housing support.

Further information on applying for social housing support is available at Apply for Council Housing   

Can I remain on the Housing Waiting List?

If you are qualified for all forms of social housing support and you avail of HAP, you will be afforded the opportunity to be included on the Housing Waiting Transfer List, when you are signing your HAP Tenancy.  If you are undecided, you will have a further period of two weeks from signing your HAP Tenancy to request to be included.  It is necessary to sign and submit your formal request.  Once this two week period elapses it will not be possible for your household to be included on the Housing Waiting Transfer List.

How does it work?

If you are eligible and qualified for social housing support, you must source your own private rented accommodation. See monthly Housing Assistance Payment rates above.  The Local Authority will pay the landlord directly and the tenant will pay a rent to the Local Authority based on Sligo County Council’s Differential Rent Scheme – see below.  The rent will be assessed on your weekly household income.  Any shortfall to the landlord between the HAP and the monthly rent for the property, is a matter for the tenant and the landlord to agree upon.

Can I move my HAP to another Property?

If you have held a HAP tenancy for 2 years or longer and you have an up to date rent account, you may apply to transfer your HAP to another property.

Please note Clause 17 of the Rent Contribution Agreement states:

“In accordance with the Act, the HAP Claimant must remain in the property for a minimum period of 2 years. The HAP Claimant will not be eligible to benefit from another HAP payment for a period of 1 year if they leave the property within the 2 year period. The HAP claimant can only move in exceptional circumstances and they must receive permission from the Local Authority before they move.”

If your transfer application is approved, it will be necessary for you to source alternative private rented accommodation.

What happens if I leave my HAP property without permission?

You will not be eligible to benefit from another HAP for a period of 1 year from the date of exiting HAP.

What should I do if I want to leave HAP of my own accord?

You need to give adequate notice to your landlord and to the Council. You need to document the reason for leaving and provide a forwarding address to the HAP office, in order that payments and rent accruals can cease. You are liable for rent until such time as the HAP Tenancy is ceased.

Am I eligible for an increase in my HAP?

Discretionary increases in HAP are considered on a case by case basis. The maximum discretionary increase available is 20%. It should be noted that if there is a change in circumstance, any discretionary increase awarded may also reduce.

What to do, if somebody wants to move in with me in my HAP Tenancy

It is necessary to include the person(s) on your application for social housing support. If the person being included is aged 18 years or older he/she will have submit an application for social housing support in his/her own name and be approved. If the person(s) being included is under 18 years, it is necessary to contact the housing office who will advise what documentation is required.

What to do, if somebody no longer resides with me in my HAP Property

It is necessary to confirm the date of departure in writing and submit documentary evidence of their new address ie utility bill, bank statement (dated within the last six months).

Who should I contact regarding Rent Arrears or putting a Payment Plan in place?

You may make contact with the HAP Shared Services Centre on 061 556600, selecting Option 1 only, have your Customer ID No to hand and ask for the Debt Management Unit or via e-mail to hapcollections@limerick.ie 

Management and Maintenance of HAP Property

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

  1. Insurance: property Insurance, contents Insurance and public liability Insurance.
  2. The management and maintenance of the property including routine maintenance / repair and replacement of equipment and all furnishings and fittings. 
  3. 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

  1. The property must meet the minimum standards as set out in the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations.
  2. The Residential Tenancies Acts, will govern the relationship between the Landlord and the Tenant;
  3. An Inspection/Condition Report will be completed in respect of each property..

Further information can be found at: Housing Standards for Rented Housing

What should I do if I get a Notice of Termination?

You need to send a copy of your Notice of Termination to the Housing Office as soon as possible.  You can e-mail it to housing@sligococo.ie for the attention of the HAP office, correspondence will issue to you, including a HAP Pack.

It is a requirement that you have a clear rent account. 

You may make contact with the HAP Shared Services Centre on 061 556600, selecting Option 1 only, have your Customer ID No to hand and ask for the Debt Management Unit or via e-mail to hapcollections@limerick.ie

When you source suitable alternative accommodation and your landlord is willing to enter into HAP, it is necessary for you to submit a completed application for HAP for consideration.

How can I access the Residential Tenancy Board (RTB)?

Information on Tenancy Law and RTB Services is available at the following link https://onestopshop.rtb.ie/  The RTB helpline is Lo-call on 0818 30 30

37 (mobile operators might charge a premium rate to the Lo-call number) or 01 702 8100 - available from Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 6.30pm.

If you have any questions regarding your Notice of Termination you should make contact with the Residential Tenancy Board by clicking on the following link www.rtb.ie

How can I access Threshold?

Threshold is a housing charity which provides free and independent advice and advocacy services to renters.

How to access the service

  • You can speak to an advisor by phoning the free phone number 1800 454 454 Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm.
  • By going to the website www.threshold.ie, you can email your query to Threshold, engage through web chat or
    set up an online video consultation.
  • You can also get in touch with Threshold by posting the notice of termination and any other relevant documents such as your lease to Threshold, 5 Prospect Hill, Galway. Don’t forget to provide your contact details.

What Threshold can do to help you

  • Threshold can advise you as to whether your notice of termination is valid or not. 
  • Contact your landlord on your behalf to try to resolve the issue informally.
  • Assist you in disputing the invalid notice by helping you submit a case to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).
  • Provide you with a letter for Sligo County Council if you have been given valid notice of termination.

Information Threshold needs to help you

If you are contacting Threshold because you have been given written notice to leave your privately rented accommodation, it would be helpful for you to advise of the following:

  • When your tenancy started?
  • If you have a lease or contract? and if so, provide Threshold with a copy.
  • Provide a copy of the notice of termination and statutory declaration if the landlord is selling the property or needs it for their own use or that of  a family member.
  • Any warning letters you may have been given for tenancy breach or rent arrears.
  • Provide your contact details including phone number and email if you have them.

For more information freephone 1800 454 454 or contact Threshold through the website https://www.threshold.ie/advice/help.html

More Information

More information regarding HAP can be accessed by clicking on www.hap.ie 
 

See the Tenant and Landlord documents below for more detailed information.  

HAP Information Booklet (English) (PDF) - 560 kbs  PDF
HAP Information Booklet (Gaeilge) (PDF) - 545 kbs  PDF
HAP Tenant Information (English) (PDF) - 1,017 kbs  PDF
HAP Tenant Information (Gaeilge) (PDF) - 828 kbs  PDF
HAP Landlord Information (English) (PDF) - 1,026 kbs  PDF
HAP Landlord Information (Gaeilge) (PDF) - 1,068 kbs  PDF
Transfer to Alternative HAP Accommodation - Application form (PDF) - 479 kbs  PDF
Rent Review Form RAS / HAP Tenant (PDF) - 106 kbs  PDF
Differential Rent Scheme (PDF) - 603 kbs  PDF