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CONTACT

HOUSING

Housing is a key concern for almost everyone contacting Safe Home Ireland. Finding appropriate and affordable housing in Ireland can be a challenge, particularly given the ongoing housing crisis. Safe Home Ireland can help to  explain general housing rights and entitlements for people considering moving or returning to Ireland. Safe Home Ireland facilitates a housing assistance programme that is specifically targeted at qualifying older Irish emigrants seeking to return to
their native areas. For more information on that process, including
qualifying criteria, please see HERE.

The information below is intended to provide basic information and to help answer your questions about housing. For a full outline of applying for social housing
supports from within Ireland, please see HERE.

For further details or advice, please contact us at Safe Home Ireland and we will explain the housing sector and assess your situation.

ONE-TO-ONE ADVICE

Safe Home Ireland can give you tailored advice and information about moving or returning to Ireland. Our service is free and confidential.

FAQs

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERING TYPES OF HOUSING AVAILABLE IN IRELAND?

Local Authority/Council Housing

If you are unable to provide accommodation from your own means and wish to be considered for Council housing you should apply to your local Authority to have your housing needs assessed. The Council has ‘a say’ in the allocation of Housing Association properties and they are also involved in the assessment process for other social housing supports; E.G Rent Supplement, Housing Assistance Payment – HAP. Therefore, if you are seeking any form of social housing support, it is advisable to register with the relevant Council as soon as possible.

 Housing Supports for Homeless People

Sadly, there is very limited availability to housing and supports for people presenting as homeless in Ireland at present.  You would be very ill advised to arrive in Ireland without having the means to secure accommodation for yourself or the possibility of staying with friends or family. All of the major towns and cities have significant numbers of homeless people either sleeping rough, in hostels or bed and breakfast accommodation. Councils will try to secure some form of temporary or emergency accommodation, however unsuitable, for families who are homeless. However due to lack of funding, single people or childless couples are likely to have very few options available to them unless they can secure hostel accommodation.

http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/losing_your_home/housing_options_for_homeless_people.html

Home Ownership

If you are looking to buy a property in Ireland, the following websites will give you a good indication of what is available in your price range on a county by county basis;

www.daft.ie        www.myhome.ie     www.ipav.ie

The following will also be useful resources: http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/owning_a_home/buying_a_home/steps_involved_buying_a_home.html

Or  : www.consumerhelp.ie/buying-a-home-step-by-step-guide

Stamp Duty: Stamp duty applies to residential property such as houses or apartments. It is also payable on non-residential property, that is, land or housing sites without residential buildings.

Rates:

Property value Rate
Up to €1,000,000 1%
Balance 2%

Exceptions: For people buying their homes under local authority tenant purchase and similar schemes, a maximum amount of €100 is charged. There is no stamp duty payable on certain transfers between spouses, civil partners and cohabitants
For additional/detailed information, talk to your solicitor or contact:  National Stamp Duty Office, New Stamping Building, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2             Email: dublinstamp@revenue.ie

Renting in the private sector

Rents in the private sector can be very expensive, particularly in towns and cities. In rural areas, which have large numbers of tourists during the summer, you may be able to find accommodation for a reasonable rent during the ‘off peak season’.

In rural areas where there are few tourists you may be able to find accommodation all year around at a reasonable rent. The quality of privately rented accommodation can vary so much it would be wise to view before agreeing to take any such property. You should insist on a tenancy agreement, as this will offer you a degree of protection. Some local newspapers advertise properties available to rent. However, the vast majority of tenancies are now advertised online. The following websites are also a good gauge of what is available and price ranges:

www.daft.ie     www.myhome.ie

IS THERE ANY SUPPORT AVAILABLE TO ASSIST WITH RENT COSTS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR?

RENT SUPPLEMENT

Rent Supplement is paid to people living in private rented accommodation who cannot provide for the cost of their accommodation from their own income/resources. In general, you will qualify for a rent supplement, if your only income is a social welfare or Health Services Executive (HSE) payment and you satisfy other conditions.

Rent Supplement was originally designed as a support for people who needed short-term help with their rent, for example, if they had lost their job. However, many people who are currently on Rent Supplement have been assessed as having a long-term housing need, and as a result they are on local authority housing lists.

The Housing Assistance Payment

The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a form of social housing support for people who have a long-term housing need. It is being administered by local authorities and will eventually replace long-term Rent Supplement .

The HAP scheme aims to:

  • Allow all social housing supports be accessed through one body – the local authority
  • Allow people getting HAP to take up full-time employment and keep their housing support

Under the HAP scheme, local authorities pay landlords directly. Tenants pay a weekly HAP rent contribution to the local authority, based on their income and ability to pay.

For more information on HAP, please see: http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/renting_a_home/housing_assistance_payment.html

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR HAP?

You must be on the local authority’s housing list – which means that you qualify for social housing support. People who are on the housing list and are currently getting Rent Supplement will be transferred to HAP on a phased basis. They are eligible to apply for HAP at present, without waiting to be transferred.

However, you do not have to be getting Rent Supplement in order to qualify for HAP – but you must be on the housing list.

Although the local authority administers the HAP scheme, you will not be a local authority tenant. The rental agreement will be between yourself and the private landlord. You must find your own private rented accommodation – the local authority will not source it for you.

WHAT ARE THE RENT LIMITS?

In general, the rent must be within the HAP rent limits for your household size and the area you live in. The limits are generally based on the limits for Rent Supplement, please see rent limits 

However, in certain specified local authority areas, there may be discretional allowance for flexibility where suitable accommodation cannot be found for a household within the HAP rent limits.

You will pay a weekly HAP rent contribution to the local authority, based on your household’s weekly income. This rent will vary in accordance with your income. The local authority will pay your rent directly to your landlord on your behalf, subject to certain conditions.

CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE LOCAL PROPERTY TAX (LPT)?

All owners of residential property, including rental properties, are liable to pay the tax. The following groups are also liable for LPT:

  • People who have a long-term lease (20 years or more)
  • People with a life interest or long-term right of residence (life or more than 20 years) in a residential property
  • Local authorities or social housing organisations *Note! – this is mainly payable by the Landlord NOT the tenant
  • A person acting as a personal representative for a deceased owner (for example, as an executor/administrator of an estate). Trustees or beneficiaries are jointly liable where a residential property is held in trust.

Long-term leases (more than 20 years), life tenancies and situations where a person occupies a residential property on a rent-free basis over an extended period and without challenge to their right of occupation will be treated as if the occupant owns the property. In these circumstances, the occupant will be liable for LPT.

For additional information, contact:

The Revenue Commissioners: Local Property Tax (LPT) Branch, P.O. Box 1, Limerick

or Tel: (00353) 1 702 3049 –  www.revenue.ie

Our advice on all property taxes and charges is to contact your solicitor/estate agent or regional Revenue Commissioners office to get a full outline of what you may be liable to pay.