RAS - Rental Accommodation Scheme

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The Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) is a social housing support introduced to cater for the accommodation needs of persons who are in receipt of long term rent supplement.

Persons normally must be in receipt of continuous rent supplement for a minimum period of 18 months, and be assessed as having a long term housing need. Those excluded from the scheme include asylum seekers or non-Irish nationals who do not have permission to remain in the State permanently. Also excluded from the scheme are students and persons in receipt of rent supplement as a ‘Back To Work’ incentive.

This scheme is being administered by all local authorities and is intended to provide an additional source of good quality rented accommodation for eligible persons.

OBJECTIVES AND BENEFITS OF RAS

The primary objective of the scheme is for the local authority to cater for recipients with a long term housing need by using accommodation-based solutions.

Achievement of the above objective will realise the following benefits:

  • Minimise dependence on the rent supplement scheme.
  • Facilitate a social mix by providing a wider geographical spread of social housing
  • Expand the amount of private rented accommodation available on a long –term basis for Rent Supplement tenants through acquiring new long term rental accommodation
  • Improvement of quality, suitability and usage of private rented accommodation
  • Achieve better value for money in provision of accommodation for persons in need of long-term social housing.
  • Coordinate and integrate the efforts of local authorities, voluntary and co-operative housing bodies and the private sector in the provision of long term housing supports.

TENANTS AND RAS

The RAS Scheme will provide additional good quality accommodation for people receiving long-term rent supplement and who are deemed to have a long term housing need.

Normally a tenant deemed eligible for RAS will transfer into the scheme in their existing accommodation once the accommodation is of a suitable standard and the landlord is agreeable to transfer the property into the RAS scheme.

When a tenant transfers into RAS, their weekly rent contribution is payable to the local authority rather than the landlord.  The calculation of the weekly rent contribution is based on the local authorities Differential Rent Scheme which is the same rent calculation as if someone was a tenant of a Council house. If the tenant’s income circumstances change their weekly rent contribution is recalculated on the basis of their new earnings.

RAS also gives tenants of private rented accommodation long-term housing security while also giving them access to a range of housing supports. A tenant in RAS can also opt to remain on the local authorities Housing Waiting List for Council Housing if they have also been qualified on same.

LANDLORDS AND RAS

Under this new scheme Limerick City Council  will negotiate an ‘availability contract’ with the landlord/property owner /estate or letting agent which the Council will guarantee a monthly electronic payment of the rent amount on behalf of the tenant directly to the landlord for the period of the contract. The terms of this will be negotiated between the Council and the landlord but generally it will be for four years or longer. The rent paid by the local authority will be the full, agreed rent for the property. The landlord will not have to collect rent or fill vacancies for the duration of the agreement. The Council will collect the tenant’s rent contribution and will pay the full rent to the landlord even if the property is vacant. Landlord will have a bankable asset that a guaranteed RAS rent payment represents and guaranteed prompt payment by a State agency.

Alternatively landlords can opt for a “Current Tenancy Only” contract if they initially just want to do a contract for their current tenant only.

The key ‘landlord and tenant’ relationship will remain between the property owner and the former rent supplement recipient. The Council will act as broker or agent on behalf of the tenant.

Landlords retain responsibility for routine maintenance and repair etc and must provide a Tax Clearance Certificate, a Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificate for the rented accommodation The landlord must carry out any works identified by the Engineer during his inspection of the property before a contract can be entered into

Landlord leaflet (76 Kb)

LANDLORD - EXPRESSION OF INTEREST

If you are a landlord with property in City of Limerick and are interested in renting your accommodation under the Rental Accommodation Scheme, please download and complete the ‘Landlord – Expression of Interest’ form and send to the
RAS Unit, Housing Department, Limerick City Council, City Hall, Merchants Quay, Limerick or e-mail ras@limerickcity.ie

 

Landlord Expression of Interest Form (244 Kb)

Once received, the RAS unit will contact you to discuss the RAS Scheme in greater detail with you.

INFORMATION FOR LANDLORDS AND TENANTS ON PRIVATE RENTED ACCOMMODATION IN RELATION TO STANDARDS

Information on current minimum standards required for private rented accommodation; registration of tenancies; and rent books, for Landlords/Tenants who are interested in letting/renting private rented accommodation.

Accommodation Standards

All property (apts & houses) must at a minimum meet the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations, 2008 & the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 1993 ( Subarticle 6 & 7) . In summary, they require a landlord to:

These Regulations require landlords of rented houses (including flats and maisonettes), with some exceptions, to ensure that such houses meet certain minimum standards. The standards relate to:

Section A : Structural Condition

Section B : Sanitary Facilities

Section C : Heating Facilities

Section D : Food Preparation and Storage and Laundry

Section E : Ventilation

Section F : Lighting

Section G : Fire Safety

Section H : Refuse

Section I : Electricity & Gas

The Regulations came into operation generally on 1 February 2009. In respect of existing tenancies, Articles 6 to 8 come into operation on the 1st of February, 2013. The Regulations replace the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 1993. Articles 6 and 7 of the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 1993 shall continue to have effect in relation to existing tenancies until 1 February, 2013. Article 7 of the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 1993 shall continue to have effect where the house is let by a housing authority under section 56 of the Housing Act 1966 (as amended) or by a housing body approved under section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992.

More information on the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008:

http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/DevelopmentandHousing/Housing/FileDownLoad,19428,en.pdf

ENFORCEMENT OF THE REGULATIONS

Local authorities are responsible for enforcing the legal requirements in relation to the standards described on this page.

Where a tenant considers that any of the requirements are not being observed and is unable to get a satisfactory response from the landlord, the tenant should contact the Town, City or County Council, in whose area the rented dwelling is located.

These authorities have powers to investigate any breaches and prosecute offences.

CONTACT PERSON MICHAEL MOONEY

TELEPHONE NO            061 407194

EMAIL mmooney@limerickcity.ie           

REGISTRATIONS OF TENANCIES

Landlords of private rented accommodation are required to register details of all their tenancies with the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB). The Board will use the registration data for its information provision function and for resolving certain types of disputes.

Registration Procedures

New tenancies must be registered within one month with the PRTB.

The requirement to register arises only where a new tenancy is created.

While the rent amount must be updated in the register before a rent review takes effect, that notification will not require to be accompanied by a fee. Other relevant changes that occur in the details of the registered tenancy need only be notified as part of a rent review update.

Tenants must supply landlords with the information they need to complete the registration form, including their Personal Public Service Number. 

The registration fee is €70 per unit and a composite fee of €300 is available where a number of units in the one property are being registered at the same time. 

There are exceptions in certain limited circumstances i.e. 2 fees already paid in respect of the dwelling within the previous year. 

A double fee applies for late registrations. 

In a case where a tenancy lasts for 4 years, a new registration fee will apply where a further Part 4 tenancy commences immediately afterwards. 

The fees will keep pace with inflation.

The PTRB will rigorously pursue compliance by landlords with the registration requirement. Failure to do so is an offence and the penalty on conviction is a fine of up to €3,000 or up to 6 months imprisonment or both.

Landlords must be registered in order to avail of the PRTB dispute resolution service.

Tenants will have access to the service irrespective of whether the tenancy is registered. 

When registered, the PTRB will issue the landlord and tenants with a registration number.

An extract from the register is available to the public online at www.prtb.ie.  It does not contain information that would disclose the identity of the landlord or tenant or the rent

Rent Book

Under the Housing (Rent Books) Regulations 1993 a landlord is required, upon the commencement of a new tenancy, to provide the tenant with a rent book showing the following information:

The address of the house;

The name and address of the landlord and, if the landlord has appointed and agent, of such agent;

The name of the tenant;

The term of the tenancy;

The rent reserved under the tenancy and when and how it is to be paid;

The amount of any rent paid in advance;

The amount and purpose of any deposit paid by the tenant and the conditions on which such a deposit is repayable;

The date of commencement of the tenancy;

Particulars of the furnishings and appliances provided by the landlord for the exclusive use of the tenant.

Disclaimer: This document does not purport to provide a legal interpretation of statutory requirements or obligations and should be used for guidance purposes only. (Copies of the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 1993 & 2008 and Housing (Rent Books) Regulations 1993 are available from the Government Publications Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. Ph: 01-6793515.)  Further information regarding the registration of tenancies can be obtained from the Private Residential Tenancies Board, 2nd Floor, O’Connell Bridge House, D’Olier St, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 63 50 60 0 Website: www.prtb.ie

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

Information about the Residential Tenancies Act and the registration requirements is available at www.prtb.ie Enquiries about the registration requirements should be addressed to the Private Residential Tenancies Board and the contact details are:

Private Residential Tenancies Board,
2nd Floor, O’Connell Bridge House,
D’Olier Street,
Dublin 2.

Telephone:  01 63 50 60 0
Fax:  01 63 50 60 1
E-mail:  information@prtb.ie
Website:  www.prtb.ie

BUILDING ENERGY RATING (BER) CERTIFICATE

Private rented accommodation subject to a new letting from the 1st January, 2009 will require a Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificate in accordance with the European Communities (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations 2006.  A BER is a scale of comparison for the energy performance of a building ranging from A1 to G. It is similar to the A to G rating for a household electrical appliance like a fridge or washing machine.  (A rated houses are the most energy efficient and G the least efficient)

The assessment for a Building Energy Rating must be carried out by specially trained BER assessors, registered by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI).  Further information and a list of BER assessors is available on the SEI website www.sei.ie

RAS CONTACT DETAILS

Location ::
Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) Unit
Housing Department,
City Hall,
Merchants Quay,
Limerick
Contact Persons:: Audrey Crowe or Jean O’Grady
Opening Hours:: Monday to Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm
Telephone:: 061 407342 or 061 407246
Fax:: 061 418601

E-mail:: ras@limerick.ie

 

 

 

 

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Last update:19/02/2014

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