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Rental Accommodation Scheme

What Is The Rental Accommodation Scheme?

RAS is a scheme which has been in operation since 2006.  Under the Scheme, the Council will source good quality houses and, on ascertaining that the properties are suitable and the Landlords are compliant with tax, etc., a monthly rent is agreed at a competitive rate for a period of up to four years.  The Landlord is guaranteed a monthly rent for the duration of the contract.

RAS properties will be allocated to people who are in receipt of Rent Supplement for more than 18 months and who have been assessed by the Housing Authority as having a long-term housing need (excluding asylum seekers or other non-nationals who do not have leave to remain in the State permanently).  The scheme is being administered by the Housing Authority and  provides good quality rented accommodation for eligible persons to meet long-term housing need.  

How do you apply to RAS?

RAS unit Contact details - RAS Unit, Housing Department, Sligo County Council, County Hall, Riverside, Sligo  or email: kkane@sligococo.ie  

What requirements / criteria does the tenant have to meet to qualify for RAS?

  1. Assessed as having a medium to long-term housing need i.e. the tenant must be on the Sligo County Council housing list.
  2. The tenant must be in receipt of Rent Supplement for more than 18 months.

What benefit is it to the tenant engaging in the scheme?

  1. Accommodation is good in quality and location.
  2. Secure tenure.
  3. Opportunity to take up full time employment.  

How long is the contract for?

The lease period will be negotiated between the RAS unit and the Landlord when all criteria have been adhered to and the Landlord is happy to engage in the scheme.  It can be for a period up to 4 years (re/ Residential Tenancies Act, 2004).  The lease will be administered on a case by case basis.

How much will the tenant’s rent be?

If the persons income is basic Social Welfare i.e. Job Seekers Allowance, Disability Allowance etc the minimum rent is €30 weekly.  If income is more than this the rent is calculated in line with the Local Authority’s Differential Rent Scheme and can be calculated up to a maximum of €75 weekly.  

What requirements / criteria does the Landlord have to meet in order to qualify for RAS?

Good quality accommodation, which is subject to an inspection by the Council’s technical section (in accordance with the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008 as amended).  Listed at the end of this document are a number of the common issues arising in units which lead to failed inspections ****Appendix 1.  These matters should be attended to by any landlord interested in the scheme prior to inspection.  Please note this list is not exhaustive and further issues may arise following inspection.

  1. A current Tax Clearance Certificate
  2. Agree to have property and tenant registered with the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB).
  3. Insurance for fire, theft, contents etc. for the property rented to the Housing Authority.
  4. Provision of a BER (Building Energy Rating) Certificate for the property
  5. Proof that the Local Property Tax and NPPR (Non Principal Private Residence) charges have been paid
  6. Provision of PIREI (Periodic Inspection Report for an Electrical Installation) from the ETCI (Electro Technical Council of Ireland) – 4 page document.  The document should show that all items inspected by the Registered Electrical Contractor achieve a standard that “NO REMEDIAL WORK IS REQUIRED”.
  7. Provision of a current Declaration of Conformance for an IS 813* annex E inspection by a Registered Gas Installer for the gas installation in the house (applicable where there is a gas installation). 
  8. What benefit is it to Landlords to engage in this scheme?Income stream for Landlord,The Housing Authority acts as an agent and nominates tenant(s) who have been interviewed and vetted.  The Landlord saves on the expense of advertising, engaging with agents for a fee and/or showing the property;Rent paid directly by Local Authority eliminating collection costs.

Can a Landlord opt out of the scheme during the lease due to unforeseen circumstances or to sell the property?

Yes. As long as the reason to opt out of the scheme is stated in the Residential Tenancies Act, 2004.  If the tenant engages in anti-social behaviour they may be asked to leave and in this case they would not be eligible for other housing supports by the Local Authority.  

If the property is damaged will the Housing Authority cover the cost of repair?

The housing authority will pay up to one month’s rent towards unnecessary damage to the property. House insurance is a requirement of the Landlord to engage in RAS scheme.

When will the payments for rent be paid?

Rent will be paid to the Landlord on a monthly basis.  

Who is responsible for inspecting the property for the duration of the contract?

All landlords are advised to inspect their property regularly to ensure their tenant(s) is/are complying with the terms of the contract.  

Appendix 1

Common issues which require attention following inspections under the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008 as amended 

  • Blocked eave runs to houses ( i.e. with obvious weeds and grass);
  • No insulation to cold water tank and pipes in attic;
  • No permanent vent to external air in rooms with combustible fire;
  • Insufficient ventilation of bathrooms and shower rooms due to clogged and dirty extractor fans.
  • Insufficient suction on cooker extractor fans due to clogged and dirty extractor fans with obvious replacement of filter element needed;
  • No microwave;
  • No wall-mounted fire blanket in prominent position in kitchen;
  • Smoke alarms not working properly or insufficient alarms;
  • No emergency evacuation plan displayed at apartment unit’s entrance door (if applicable) – this must be in diagrammatic form;
  • No PIREI (Periodic Inspection Report for an Electrical Installation) from the ETCI (Electro Technical Council of Ireland) – 4 page document
  • An icebox in a fridge will not suffice as a freezer for the purpose of the Regulations.  

Contact Information

Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) Unit,
Sligo County Council,
County Hall,
Riverside,
Sligo Telephone: 071 9111231.

Email: kkane@sligococo.ie