Rental Accommodation Scheme - 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.
What are the Main Features of the Scheme?
Local authorities will enter into contractual arrangements with property owners/landlords.
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 tenancy between the landlord and the tenant;
- the landlord must be tax compliant;
- the landlord must provide a Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificate
- the property must be furnished and meet the minimum standards for private rental accommodation as determined by the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008 (as amended) and also meet additional requirements for RAS. On receipt of a completed application form an inspection of the property will take place – see attached RAS Inspection Guide.
- the landlord must register the tenancy with the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB).
- payments in respect of the Non Principal Private Residence (NPPR) Charge must be up to date
- payments in respect of the Household Charge must be up to date
- payments in respect of the Property Tax must be up to date
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.
Wicklow County Council will seek to enter into a contractual arrangement with the landlord to make housing available to RAS for an agreed term. Wicklow County Council will guarantee the rent on behalf of the tenant.
In most cases there is a tenant in the property who currently receives Rent Supplement and is eligible for RAS. In other cases Wicklow County Council Housing Department will nominate a RAS eligible applicant for the accommodation. The applicant will sign a Residential Tenancy Agreement with the landlord. Wicklow County Council’s Housing Department will also be party to this Agreement as guarantor of the rent.
What contractual arrangements will exist between the Landlord/Agent and the local authority?
There are two types of contracts for RAS used by Wicklow County Council.
- (A) Current tenant only - This contract is used where the agreement is in relation to the tenant and should that tenant vacate the property the contract ends.
- (B) Availability Agreement - whereby should the existing tenant vacate the property the council can nominate a suitable tenant.
Landlord & Tenant Relationship
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:
- Insurances - property, landlord’s contents and public liability;
- All maintenance/repair and replacement of equipment; and
- Dealing with breaches by the tenant of his/her obligations under the Residential Tenancy Agreement should they arise.
How will rent levels be determined?
Rent levels will reflect local market conditions but must show a reduction on current market rents applicable at time of contract signing.
Deposits and Damage to Property
No deposits will be paid under RAS as a contractual arrangement will exist between the landlord and the local authority. However, where damage is caused to property, which is above normal 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 Rental Accommodation Scheme
- If a Landlord wishes to participate in the RAS they must submit a completed Expression of Interest Form attaching the following documentation,
- Copy of Tax Clearance Certificate, TC2 for all owners – (for further info check Revenue.ie)
- Copy of BER Certificate & BER Advisory Report – (for further info check sei.ie)
- This is a legal requirement for all landlords offering properties for rent since 1/2/2009
- Copy of Private Residential Tenancies Board Registration for insitu applications only – (for further info check prtb.ie)
- Copy of NPPR Payment Certificate (Non Principle Private Residence Charge) – (further info check NPPR.ie)
- Copy of household charge payment certificate – (for further info check householdcharge.ie)
- Copy of Local Property Tax Payment Certificate
Once you have returned the completed application and attached all relevant information the Council will endeavor to process your application as soon as possible.
If you are interested in participating in the Scheme please contact the RAS Section, Housing Department, Wicklow County Council, County Buildings, Wicklow or complete Landlord Expression of Interest Form and return to the RAS Unit along with the required documentation.
Please note Wicklow County Council can only consider a property for the RAS if they have a need for the property.
Phone: 0404 20120
Fax: 0404 67792