Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS)
The Rental Accommodation Scheme or RAS is a private-sector based accommodation option which may be considered to meet the housing need of persons approved for social housing support and who are in receipt of a Rent Supplement Allowance (from the Department of Social Protection) normally for a period of 18 months+. It is an alternative option to the provision of Council-owned property in meeting housing need.
Under the scheme Longford County Council may enter into a 3-way contract with a property-owner and a tenant (known as a Residential Tenancy Agreement) under which the Council will pay rent for the property directly to the owner. The tenant does not make any rent contribution to the owner/landlord but instead pays a rent contribution directly to the Council calculated under the council’s Differential Rent Scheme for Council tenancies i.e. under RAS the tenant pays the same contribution/amount to the Council for private rented accommodation as a tenant in a Council house with the same household income would pay.
The tenant does not make any rent contribution directly to the landlord in respect of their RAS tenancy. Where the housing authority are of the view that RAS is the most appropriate form of social housing support for an applicant, a person may transfer onto the scheme in one of two ways:
- If their current accommodation meets their housing need; complies with standards for rented houses and the owner is agreeable to transfer the tenancy to RAS, then the tenant may remain in their current accommodation under the scheme
- If a tenant’s housing need cannot be met in their current accommodation for any reason (e.g. unit is too small/too large; does not meet minimum standards; owner does not wish to partake in the scheme etc.) alternative suitable vacant accommodation may be sourced by the tenant and/or the Council.
Key elements of the scheme include:
- The applicant must be in receipt of a rent supplement under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme for a minimum of 18 months.
- The applicant must have a long-term housing need, as assessed by the housing authority.
- The applicant must have a right to permanent residence in the state.
- The Council pays the full rent to the landlord on behalf of the tenant.
- Landlords must register tenancies with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) and the tenancies are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.
- The property must meet minimum standards for private rental accommodation as determined by the housing authority.
- Deposits are not required since the Council has entered into a contract with the landlord.
- The landlord must agree to the transfer of the tenancy to RAS.
- The housing authority will pay the full rent to the landlord on behalf of the tenant.
- The landlord must be tax compliant.
- Non-residential landlords are also liable to a 20% tax deduction made monthly. The Landlord may claim tax-credits on this deduction from Revenue.
- The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 will govern the relationship between the landlord and the tenant.
- A Building Energy Rating Certificate is required.
Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) Unit,
Longford County Council,
Aras an Chontae,
Great Water Street,
Tel.: 043 3343359