As part of Budget 2012 – it was mentioned that the amounts paid out in Rent Allowance would be reviewed in 2012. (It is also known as Rent Supplement) .
Rent Allowance / Supplement is paid to people living in private rented accommodation who cannot provide for the cost of their accommodation from their own resources. In 2011 – €465 million in Rent Allowance was paid to over 96,000 people.
The government have set new figures for the maximum rents payable by Rent Allowance this week – and many landlords will not be happy. (That is assuming they reduce rents in line with these caps). WIth the €200 NPPR and the new Household Charge – the profits of landlords are being reduced.
The government expect to make €22 million is savings a year from these cuts.
The new limits will apply to all new claimants from January 1st 2012. The lower limits will only be applied to existing claimants when their claims are reviewed or if they move to new accommodation.
The rules for Rent Allowance / Supplement state that the total rent paid by tenants to landlords must not be above the maximum rent level set for your county or area. The local Community Welfare Office may also set lower rates within these limits. If your actual rent is higher than the local maximum, you may be refused Rent Supplement entirely.
This advice was given to Welfare Officers in Dec 2011
Welfare staff may use their discretionary powers and pay Rent Supplement based on the rate quoted within the lease agreement for up to a period of thirteen weeks.
Welfare staff may also wish to use their discretion, and extend the thirteen week period as outlined above, in circumstances where:
(i) the lease agreement is, within a reasonable timeframe, about to expire, or;
(ii) the termination of the lease agreement may give rise to onerous penalties payable by the applicant, or;
(iii) the minimum notice within the lease agreement, that a tenant must provide a landlord to vacate the property, is in excess of the thirteen week period.
Monthly Maximum Rent Payable Under Rent Allowance / Supplement Scheme
|1 child and Couple or Lone parent
||Couple with 2
children or one-parent with 2 children
|Couple with 3 children or one-parent
with 3 children
There are different figures for people in shared accommodation – the figures above are for people who don’t share a home with other non family members.
The new rent figures have dropped by as much as €230 a month in some places (Wicklow).
The biggest percentage fall was in Roscommon (45%) – for couples with or lone parents with 2 children.