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Renting property? Here’s why you should think about becoming a HAP landlord

Some 18,000 landlords and agents are already using the scheme.

jaroslaw-ceborski-250955 Source: Unsplash

BETWEEN WORRYING ABOUT damage to your property and having to hunt down rent from your tenants, letting a house or apartment can be a stressful process for any owner.

But the Housing Assistance Programme (HAP) Scheme could make things easier for some landlords – and 18,000 different landlords and agents are already using it.

First introduced in 2014 and made available nationwide earlier this year, HAP provides housing assistance for households that qualify for social housing support, along with other long-term rent supplement recipients. It allows individuals to work full-time and pay the local authority a weekly rent contribution.

HAP ensures that there is only a single point of contact for all payment queries, meaning no rent collection responsibilities and rental payments are made consistently by local authorities.

This can reduce the instance of rental arrears for landlords. Arrears in non-HAP tenancies are one of the most common types of dispute witnessed by the Residential Tenancies Board.

So, what are the benefits?

  • HAP landlords are paid monthly by local authorities on a tenant’s behalf, meaning that landlords have a 99% rent payment rate.

  • All payments are made electronically and payment will be transferred regardless of a change in tenant income.

  • As of 1 January 2016, landlords who rent to tenants in receipt of social housing supports like HAP may avail of increased tax relief, allowing property owners to claim 100% relief on their mortgage interest, as an expense against rental income.

  • There are no tricky up-front checks before you start the rental – all of these can follow after the tenancy has started, if required.

And how do I get involved?

Just like the Rent Supplement scheme, HAP tenants must find their own accommodation in the private rented market. As part of the HAP tenant’s application process, the landlord of the property is required to send certain information to the local authority.

This information includes:

  • The total amount of the monthly rent.

  • Proof of ownership/entitlement to act as the property’s landlord.

  • Bank statement, with your/your agent’s name and address proving that the named person/company nominated to receive HAP payments is the account holder for the bank details provided.

  • An undertaking regarding the property’s compliance with standards for rental accommodation.

  • An undertaking regarding your tax compliance.

  • Your PPSN or Tax Reference Number.

    Source: Rebuilding Ireland/YouTube

Think becoming a HAP landlord sounds like a lot less stress? For more information, see the HAP Landlord Information Booklet or contact your local authority here, or find out more about becoming a HAP landlord or a HAP tenant at www.hap.ie

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