Repair and Leasing (RLS)

Repair and Leasing (RLS)

Repair and Lease aims to increase the supply of social housing by bringing vacant properties in need of refurbishment back into use. To help with the cost of carrying out the works required to refurbish a home, Longford County Council can initially pay for the necessary works (as agreed). As a condition of accessing this funding the owner commits to the newly refurbished home being made available for social housing for an agreed term. The money will Longford County Council put toward the refurbishment works is repaid by applying an additional discount on the rent paid to the owner. The full nominal value of the capital works must be repaid in full by the landlord within the term of the agreement via a reduced rent. The RLS calculator helps local authorities see how the different repayment arrangements will impact on the initial net payments to the landlord.

The scheme is targeted at owners who CAN NOT afford the cost of the works required to bring a property that has been vacant for at least one year up to a lettable condition.

However, under a pilot expansion of the scheme, property owners of certain categories of buildings do not have to meet the requirement of being unable to afford or unable to fund the repairs. This applies to the following categories of properties:

  • Vacant commercial units
  • Vacant units associated with a commercial unit, for example, a flat over a shop
  • Vacant institutional buildings
  • Unfinished developments, which have been vacant for a significant amount of time

The pilot expansion to the scheme which removed the requirement that property owners be unable to fund or access funding to carry out repairs has also been extended. Applications under this expanded scheme are now permitted until July 2024.

Subject to Longford County Council deeming a property suitable for social housing, and the agreement of the property owner, the cost of the necessary repairs will be met upfront by the Longford County Council.


The maximum repair cost under the scheme is €80,000 including VAT. This can include the cost of required furniture, as agreed with Longford County Council

Properties that are suitable for the scheme

  • the property has to be vacant for at least 12 months (proof of vacancy will be required).
  • there has to be a social housing demand for the property.
  • the property has to be assessed as being viable to provide social housing.

The minimum standard required

  • Properties must be in good structural condition and will be subject to inspection by Longford County Council.
  • Properties must be compliant with the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2019.
  • BER certificates will be required for all properties. Minimum BER.
  • Property owners will also be required to prove ownership of the house and tax compliance. It will be the responsibility of the owner to ensure that they consult with their finance/mortgage provider and get consent to enter into a leasing arrangement, if required.


If the property meets these requirements, a member of, Longford County Council will inspect it and provide you with a checklist of the repairs that are necessary to bring it up to the standard required. But when the repairs are completed, all properties must:

  • Be in good structural condition and subject to inspection by the local authority
  • Comply with the minimum standards for rented house
  • Have a building energy rating (BER) certificate.
  • The owner must arrange all contractor works to carry out the repairs. 

    The contractor must list the works to be completed and provide a quotation for such works. 

What the property owner can expect to receive in rent

There are two options for property owners who are considering making their properties available to a local authority under RLS – Rental Availability Agreement (RAA) or a Direct Lease:

The main difference between the two options is that under a lease agreement, the local authority is the landlord and looks after the tenant and the maintenance of the property. With an raa the owner is the landlord and has these responsibilities.

The property owner agrees to enter a lease with Longford County Council for a length that is linked to the value of the repairs, subject to a minimum of 5 years. Longford County Council pays the owners a proportion of agreed market rent for the duration of the. The maximum rent to be agreed under the terms of RAAs is 92% of market rent (95% in the case of apartments with a significant service charge); under direct leasing the rate is 70% / 80% (75% / 85% in the case of apartments with a significant service charge) of the current market rent. Rent reviews will usually take place every three or four years, to be agreed with the Local Authority. Rent review periods of less than 36 months should not be considered.

Direct lease agreementRental availability agreement (RAA)
Term5 - 25 years5 - 10 years

80% of current open market rate less RLS offset for the repairs

(85% for apartments with a significant service charge and 70% for properties under the piolet scheme)

92% of current market rate less RLS offset for the repairs

(95% for apartments with a significant service charge)

Cost savings
  • No rent loss due to vacant periods
  • No rent arrears
  • No letting fees
  • No advertising costs
  • No RTB tenancy registration charge
  • No day to day maintenance cots
  • No rent loss due to vacant periods
  • No rent arrears
  • No letting fees
  • No advertising costs
Tenant managementLocal authority or AHB is responsible and they are the landlordProperty owner is responsible and is the landlord
Property maintenanceLocal authority or AHB is responsibleProperty owner is responsible

The loan the owner used to fund the initial repairs to the property MUST BE REPAID over the term of the agreement and it shall be offset against the agreed rental payment until the value of the works is repaid. Longford County Council will agree with the property owner on a case-by-case basis what the appropriate offset period will be. These arrangements may include scenarios whereby the offset is by way of a rent-free period; a consistent reduction over the duration of the lease or a term which is scaled against the duration of the lease, as set out in the examples in the table below:

This table is for illustrative purposes only:

Cost of repairsDuration of leaseOffset to be cleared by
€12,0005 yearsYear 5
€26,00010 yearsYear 8
€35,00015 yearsYear 12
€80,00025 yearsYear 20

Can I sell the property during the term

Under a long-term leasing arrangement, the property can be sold by the property owner during the term, on the condition that the lease agreement is transferred to the new owner and the local authority or AHB has provided written consent.

What happens if the tenant damages the property

Under a direct leasing arrangement, Longford County Council will be responsible for internal maintenance and repairs during the term of the direct lease. At the end of the term the property will be returned to the property owner in good repair order and condition, save for fair wear and tear.

At the end of the term, any furniture and appliances that are left in the property will revert to the ownership of the property owner and are not subject to the requirement to have them in the same condition as at the outset of the lease, subject to fair wear and tear.

Under a RAA, the property owner is responsible for internal maintenance and repairs.

Repair and Lease is part of the National Vacant Housing Reuse Strategy 2018-2021.

Please note: This scheme is a LOAN not a GRANT.

Additional information about the scheme, access: Repair and Leasing Scheme (RLS) - and Repair and Leasing - Citizens Information

Further information is contained below:

  1. Repair And Lease - Application Form _As Gaeilge
  2. Repair And Lease - Application Form _English
  3. Repair And Lease - Guidance Note 1
  4. Repair And Lease - Guidance Note 2
  5. Repair And Lease - FAQs
  6. RLS-Annual-Lease-Calculator