Existing tenant requires HAP (housing assistance payments). Does landlord have a choice?

Discussion in 'Property investment and tenants' rights' started by landlord, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. landlord

    landlord Frequent Poster

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    My existing tenants one year into the contract asked me if they can go onto the HAP (housing assistant payments).
    I briefly read the leaflet for landlords on this earlier and am reluctant to accept it. I know there are benefits for example regular rent payments coming from the council and being able to claim 100% of mortgage interest. However there seems a lot of red tape, property inspections and form filling.
    Any landlords out there been in this situation ?
    For a landlord what are the pros and cons ?
    As a landlord do I have a right right to refuse the tenant?
     
  2. Palerider

    Palerider Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
    You have the right to refuse, if they are solid and I mean solid you might consider them, I have friends who would not go near HAP for their properties, too many hurdles and issues I'm afraid.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  3. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    There are no property inspections. In over 2 decades of being a landlord, I've never had a property inspected. My rent allowance tenants are being moved onto HAP.

    Yes there is a lot of red tape to get it up and running, fill out the form, provide copy of bank account, proof of LPT paid, and tax clearance. Once that's sorted there are no further issues.

    The big advantage is the rent now comes directly into my account monthly (one month in arrears) and the tenant doesn't have to hand me any money.
     
  4. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    What hurdles?
     
  5. Setanta12

    Setanta12 Frequent Poster

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    Property inspections ARE becoming more common - I know of a county-council who have done two inspections (two separate properties/landlords - one requested; one at their insistence) in the last fortnight.
     
  6. odyssey06

    odyssey06 Frequent Poster

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    Are you sure your property is even HAP compliant?
    My understanding is that there are extra standards expected of the property under the HAP scheme.
    First thing would be to assess whether your property is even up to standard, or what it would take to get it there.
     
  7. rgfuller

    rgfuller Frequent Poster

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    I recently got inspected for HAP (SDCC), it wasn't onerous. I received a letter a couple of weeks in advance, from the CC stating they were inspecting and also what normally causes issues with previous inspections.
    Off the top of my head:

    Boiler to have been certified in the last year.
    Appropiate Carbon Monoxide Alarms.
    Smoke Alarms.
    Fire blanket.

    There are minimal standards on citizensinformation.ie
    http://www.citizensinformation.ie/e...intenance_and_minimum_physical_standards.html

    The Inspectors were building engineers.
     
  8. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    Well you know I'm a long time landlord and I'm referring to two cities. (Not Dublin).
     
  9. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    LOL, what were they going to do, come along, inspect, and evict my sitting tenants who already were getting rent allowance. Even if they do come, I'll get some kind of report to do xyz. Will I then have to do something? Will they come back to see, let's say I decide I'm not going z as it's too expensive, no doubt I could drag this out for a couple of years and they will give up.

    In any case I think what they are obsessed with is fire extinguisers and I've got those and I have the gas certified etc.

    Anyway I'm pointing out to you the corproation couldn't give one damn if I'm compliant or not. As long as I did all their box ticking exercise forms it was fine. Actually, that reminds me, at one stage I got annoyed with them about some form, the bank statement I sent was wrong or something and I told them I wasn't going to proceed. Well I then got a phone call from a lady in the payment place, in Limerick I think it was, and she begged me to continue, that I'd come so far, to please keep going. So I did, because she was very nice, some kind of manager too. It's all grand now.
     
    odyssey06 likes this.
  10. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    Exactly, that's the stuff, and I even put in the gas alarms. You don't need those in your home, but they should be compulsory. I'm not reading yoru helpful link, if I get inspected it's better there is something wrong so they justify their jobs.

    Not singing my praises, but some properties out there are shocking. And anyone who knows how systems work, those properties the corporation are staying away from, they come to compliant landlords like me, as otherwise they'd have a whole heap of trouble closing down properties that are unfit. And by gawd are some places unfit.
     
  11. odyssey06

    odyssey06 Frequent Poster

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    Not disagreeing with what you said in relation to the councils ... I was also thinking of the angle of (a) A landlord who doesn't want to accept HAP can use not having met HAP standard for reason X as excuse for refusal and (b) you might get a fussy tenant who pulls you up on it.
     
  12. Setanta12

    Setanta12 Frequent Poster

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    I think the alarms have to be wired up to the mains - your EUR10-EUR30 alarms won't suffice.
     
  13. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    Setanta what are you talking about? I have the ones with batteries, didn't even know you could wire them to the mains. Even in my own home I haven't done this.
     
  14. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    Can you be forced to accept HAB?
     
  15. odyssey06

    odyssey06 Frequent Poster

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    You can't advertise as refusing rent allowance tenants - so I assume you can't refuse a tenant on the basis that they are on rent allowance.
    Therefore, I would assume the same applies here.
     
  16. landlord

    landlord Frequent Poster

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    I understand when letting out a property you cannot refuse a viewing based on the fact that the tenant requires housing assistance, however one can simply choose to take on a tenant with better references !!!!
    Once the tenant is in place do I LEGALLY have to accept and sign the forms for HAP?..... thanks
     
  17. odyssey06

    odyssey06 Frequent Poster

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    You cannot discriminate against someone on the basis that they require housing assistance.
    As far as I am aware, that is the law - unless someone can clearly dispute that.

    Therefore, if you takes steps which lead to the eviction of a sitting tenant who you were eviently happy with up to the point when they notify you that they need housing assistance - that tenant would have a pretty good case for discrimination. The big "if" is whether your property is HAP compliant.
    If your property is not HAP compliant, I am not aware of any legislaton that obliges you to make your property compliant if you do not have an in situ HAP tenant.
     
  18. Learner2015

    Learner2015 Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
    I have a HAP tenant for the last 5 months. Property was inspected a few weeks ago.

    All the inspector cared about was ventilation, smoke and carbon alarms, fire blanket etc. Think the alarms only need to be mains wired if it's a MUD but you'll find all the min stds on citizens info. These stds are the same for any rented property not just HAP properties so might not be a good idea saying your property doesn't meet the stds so you can't do HAP!

    Re the form filling it took me literally 5 mins to scan and email copies of what they need and 10 seconds on ROS to get tax clearance.

    OP if they are good tenants and your property meets the minimum std I really don't see why you wouldn't do it?

    Pros are the council pay me direct and after 3 years I can reclaim the full 100% of mortgage interest.

    Cons - the few minutes it took to fill out the forms and press the button on Ros to get tax clearance! you don,t even have to be there for the inspection.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017