Social Housing Leasing Scheme & Rental Accommodation Scheme
Laois County Council may enter into contractual arrangements with accommodation providers to secure the medium to long term availability of private rented accommodation for the Social Housing Leasing Scheme and Rental Accommodation Scheme. Further information on these schemes is available below.
Under the Social Housing Leasing Initiative, availability arrangements can be entered into between the Council and property owners. There are two common contract types. The most common is the availability type arrangement (normally for a period of four years). The other form of contract is a tenancy-by-tenancy arrangement where an agreement remains in place for a specific tenant and ceases once that tenant moves out. The property owner may offer the property to the Council at the end of the initial agreement for a further term.
Longer term leasing contracts may be entered into with an Approved Housing Body. Please contact the Housing Department at (057) 866 4220 for further information.
For further information please see:
The Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) is a scheme which caters 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. The scheme is intended to provide an additional source of good quality rented accommodation for eligible persons to enhance the response of local authorities in meeting long-term housing needs.
Under the RAS, the Local Authority will find you suitable private rented accommodation and will pay rent to the landlord on your behalf. The tenant will still contribute to the rent but will pay it to the council, not the landlord. The tenants contribution will be based on the Local Authority’s differential rent scheme.
General Information for Landlords/Accommodation Providers
While different contract types may be entered into they will have in common the following main features:
- the council will pay the full rent to the landlord on behalf of the tenant;
- the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 will govern the relationship between the landlord and the tenant;
- the landlord must be tax compliant;
- the property must meet minimum standards for private rental accommodation as determined by the council;
- the landlord must have registered or agree to register with the Private Rented Tenancies Board (PRTB).
Landlord and Tenant Relationship and Responsibilities of Landlord.
The key landlord and tenant relationship remains between the property owner and the tenant. Laois County Council will act as broker or agent on behalf of the tenant. As such, the landlord will retain responsibility for:
- Insurances – property, landlords contents and public liability;
- Routine Maintenance/ Repair and replacement of equipment; and
- Dealing with breaches of the tenants obligations should they arise.
How will rent levels be determined?
Rent levels will be determined by negotiation between the landlord and Laois County Council and will reflect local market conditions. However, Laois County Council will seek a reduction (normally 8% of the market rent) in the current rent level in return variously for:
- The landlord not having to collect rents for the duration of the RAS or Social Housing Leasing contract;
- The landlord not having to fill vacancies (advertise and interview prospective tenants) for the duration of the contract;
- The fact that the average yield across the private rented sector is less than a full years rent due to vacancies/ tenant turnover;
- Guaranteed prompt payment by Laois County Council.
Are you interested in becoming a RAS or Social Housing Leasing Scheme Landlord
Laois County Council are particularly seeking expressions of interest from Landlords with 3 and 4 bedroom properties in Portarlington and Portlaoise for inclusion in the Social Housing Leasing scheme. We would particularly welcome expressions of interest for single storey bungalow type properties.
For further information or to request an Expression of Interest Form, please contact the Housing Department at (057) 866 4000. Alternatively, you can download the Expression of Interest Forms for Landlords and return the completed form to:
RAS/Social Housing Leasing
Housing Department, Laois County Council,
Áras an Chontae,
Private Rented Accommodation
On the 1st of February, 2013 Articles 6, 7 and 8 of the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008 came into effect in their entirety for all existing rented accommodation.
This will mean that the traditional “bed-sit” accommodation, where sanitary facilities are shared between different rental units will not be in compliance with the regulations.
It also modernises the requirements in relation to heating facilities and facilities for cooking, food storage and laundry.
In summary these articles require that:
Sanitary Facilities – Article 6
• All rental accommodation must have a separate room, contained within the rented dwelling, with a toilet, wash basin and a fixed bath or shower with hot and cold water facilities.
Heating Facilities – Article 7
• All habitable rooms must contain a fixed appliance capable of providing effective heating and the tenant must be able to control the operation of such an appliance.
Food Preparation and Storage and Laundry – Article 8
• Each rented dwelling must have adequate facilities for the hygienic storage, preparation and cooking of food and access to a washing machine and dryer.
Further information is available at www.PRTB.ie