Over the last few weeks we’ve seen HAP pop up again with some tenants unhappy with the process, but what exactly is HAP, and what should you know as a landlord.
The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a form of social housing support for people who have a long-term housing need. HAP is available in all local authority areas and will eventually replace long-term Rent Supplement. The scheme is administered by the local authorities, who pay the landlords directly.
To qualify for HAP, a household must be qualified for social housing support by their local authority, which means the household must qualify to go on the local authority housing waiting list. HAP tenants must find their own accommodation in the private rented market (This is the same as the current Rent Supplement scheme) and the landlord must agree to rent their property to the HAP tenant.
The local authority will make a monthly payment to the landlord. This payment is made on the last Wednesday of each month. The payment is subject to terms and conditions including rent limits, and that the HAP tenant pays their rent contribution to the local authority.
The HAP tenant pays their rent contribution to the local authority. Rent contributions will generally be made through An Post’s Household Budget Scheme. If the HAP tenant does not pay this rent contribution, HAP payments to their landlord will be suspended and eventually stopped. The HAP tenant is then responsible for paying the full rent themselves.
Terms and conditions overview
The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) will only be paid to a landlord under these terms and conditions.
1. The landlord must provide proof of ownership of the property in one of the documents listed in the application checklist on the HAP Application Form.
2. The applicant HAP tenant must have a tenancy which is agreed in good faith for the property the HAP payments will be made for.
3. There is a legal obligation that all rented properties, including those in HAP, must meet the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2019, and all future regulations and standards.
4. To be eligible to receive HAP payments, landlords must show that they have complied with all their tax obligations.
5. HAP payments will be made monthly in arrears on the last Wednesday of every month by electronic funds transfer to the nominated bank account. All local authorities use the services of the HAP Shared Services Centre, which is based in Limerick, to make HAP rental payments to landlords.
6. The local authority is not liable for paying the deposit a landlord may need before they are willing to rent a tenant a property.
7. HAP tenants have to pay a weekly rental contribution to the local authority. They can only continue on the HAP scheme while they pay this agreed amount.
8. The landlord is solely responsible for managing a tenancy granted under the HAP scheme. As with any other tenancy, the conditions for this are set out in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (as amended).
9. Where a property is in a rent pressure zone, the landlord must show that they have complied with the law. The local authority may request proof of rent set under previous tenancies.
As you can see there are many conditions attached to becoming a HAP registered landlord, but it can certainly be worth it once you’ve jumped through all the hoops. Some of the benefits include a 99% rent payment rate, electronic payments meaning no rent collection, tax benefits including 100% relief on mortgage interest payments, no up front inspections or checks and more.
For full details on becoming a HAP landlord in Ireland, please see full details on the HAP website at www.hap.ie
If there is anything at all we here at KPM Group can assist you with, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today and a member of staff will be happy to help in any way we can.