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Why are HAP so picky during a housing crisis?

  • 10-02-2022 10:33pm
    Registered Users Posts: 8 jedhead85

    Worked my rear off to buy a house by myself. Then I met a partner who did the same. Now that we've moved in together, we have suddenly found ourselves to be landlords of the house I bought.

    I have a friend living in one room there; she lived with me for the last year.

    To cover the mortgage I need to rent a second room.

    I've had to turn down 3 people offering to pay by HAP. I'd love to accept it, but I'm told HAP wouldn't allow it as the house doesn't have modern escapable windows that I just can't afford?

    Is this accurate? If so, it seems wildly inappropriate to force me to leave that room empty. I don't benefit, and 1 more person remains without.

    I just don't get it!

    I'm not just here for a moan, can anyone offer some serious advice around this?



  • Registered Users Posts: 8 jedhead85

    Dundalk. I've had a few applications. The price is middle of the market as it's a coat but simple older house.

    It's too far for walking distance to college and all so that must be effecting the profile of the person that's viewing.

    Id nearly rather a HAP payment as I'd know for sure it'll get paid.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 jedhead85

    Yikes, it really doesn't sound like a great option so.

    Thanks for the advice.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,192 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005

    Be careful refusing HAP tenants. It's illegal to refuse them, having a house not suitable isn't an excuse!, so they could easily get a nice few Euro off you from the WRC.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 jedhead85

    Seriously? That's crazy

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,545 ✭✭✭ dennyk

    HAP does not have different standards; the same minimum standards for private rented accommodation apply to all rental properties. If your house doesn't meet those standards, it is illegal for you to let it, period. The only difference with HAP is that because councils are understaffed and overworked, HAP properties are often the only ones that are actually inspected.

    If your property truly doesn't meet minimum fire safety standards, it should absolutely not be rented out, or really be used as a dwelling at all. At the very least, a room without a window or other second means of egress should never be used as a bedroom. That is how people die in house fires.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,264 ✭✭✭ Yellow_Fern

    It is foolish that rental requirements are higher than residential requirements. I know so many new builds that dont meet these excessive rental requirements. Whole brand new housing estates built under nzeb rules

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  • Registered Users Posts: 110 ✭✭ timmymagoo

    I have managed both hap and non hap tenancies for 10 years

    never and I mean not once has anyone came to inspect the non hap properties

    also the council inspectors are more strict with private hap landlords than with council rented properties

    if you read the fine print on minimum standards for private rented property, the council exempt their own properties from the standards

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,261 ✭✭✭ Gant21

    Take a tenant in on Johnny cash. Forget hap.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,861 ✭✭✭ Irishcrx

    Honestly forget the HAP there are so many issues with it I wouldn't know where to start , it's an absolute nightmare to deal with in terms of the council , how stringent they are and at time...tenants themselves - Safety is fine and I'm all for that but their standards can be silly , sure you see shoebox's going on the private market with all sorts of safety issues for triple the price , the way HAP are dealing with the market needs a complete overhaul, ground up.

    Stay well away and safe yourself massive hassle.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,506 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_maxx

    Because people who work in local authorities often have no common sense and if the book says a house built in 1899 must be minimum C rating , thats what they will demand

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,754 ✭✭✭ Claw Hammer

    HAP does have different standards. HAP requires houses to meet current standards of building as opposed to meeting the standard for rented dwellings.

    Wiring that might be perfectly adequate in a normal rental won't be allowed in a HAP dwelling for example.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,310 ✭✭✭ sk8board

    Full time LL.

    god, where do I start.

    a lot of the anti HAP comments above are bizarre, and you’d do well to ignore the ‘advice’.

    firstly, you cannot simple ignore HAP tenants and pick someone else. HAP tenants are used to being turned away, but if you’re being prissy about it, expect to be reported for clear discrimination. HAP tenants talk to the council all the time, after all. My advice is to have a viewing day, invite 8 or 9 prospective tenants, nod and smile at them all and then choose.

    next, HAP rules are not different - as one LL said above, HAP properties all have inspections and normal rentals do not. The minimum rental living standards are actually pitifully low.

    I have a bunch of 03-05 built houses and all of them fail Hap inspections, usually for silly stuff like having child restrictors on every window upstairs and downstairs (and they have to be ones with a latch and not a key!).

    HAP itself is definitely a pain to set up for a landlord and can take 6-8 weeks. you have to keep your nose VERY clean too, and provide a considerable amount of proofs for ownership of the house, LPT paid, tax clearance etc etc.

    Next. There’s no recent examples of the council stopping payments to landlords if a HAP tenant stops paying their small share, that I’ve ever seen. The council know the tenant will just be another homeless statistic that the government doesn’t need.

    finally, I’ve got mostly HAP tenants these days, most are people who are elderly but not retirement age, or disabled folks, or people with a long term (genuine!) illness etc etc.

    I can tell you with certainty that the Covid lockdowns cost a lot of LLs a lot of losses from tenants who weren’t on HAP. The State is a good creditor to have in times of strife.

    as an example, I had a senior airline worker move out in Feb 2020, and 6 weeks later they were put on a 2-day work week.

    HAP is also paid in arrears, another pain, as it can mean a new tenant is in the house for 2-3 months before the claim is processed and you get the back rent.

    sooooo …. thread carefully when choosing tenants, like we all do, but don’t dismiss HAP before you even start because you think you’re gonna end up with some sort of Addams family!

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,192 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005

    If the property fails a HAP inspection what happens if the landlord can't fix the issues or refuses to fix them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,920 ✭✭✭✭ Cuddlesworth

    They do have different standards, or at least their own interpretation of the rules laid out within. For example, a very common occurrence, the cooker hood has to be vented external versus a non-vented filtered hood which 99% of new build apartments have installed. This is usually in apartments with a sitting room/kitchen areas with their own vents/windows which clearly meet the needs of the regulations. Other examples would be knocking holes in walls for vents into the corridor in the apartment, demanding the electricity be up to current regs, like insulated earth/CPC for all wiring(newer regulation), demanding a heater in the corridor of a apartment etc.

    Lots of the other checks I agree with, especially the fire related ones. And a minimum standard for rented accommodation would be good, like relatively new wiring/plumbing, eg if the house hasn't been renovated in 40 years it probably shouldn't be rented.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,310 ✭✭✭ sk8board

    generally speaking the process is: inspection happens (takes a few months due to massive Covid backlog), you are posted a comprehensive report, you fix the issues highlighted, inform the private surveyor company, and there is supposed to be a revisit. In my instance I know those re-inspections never occurred, so I can’t say what would happen if it’s something so structural that you can’t fix it, however as said above the standards are the same for general tenancies as they are for HAP.

    its akin to asking ‘what happens if my house doesn’t meet the basic living standard without a lot of investment, which I don’t want to make’.

    I have no advice for that, other than to say it’s exactly the type of LL I’d prefer wasn’t in the market (and I say that without any judgement obviously! Most houses fail the HAP inspection for things like carbon monoxide alarms or fire blankets - easy fixes, but it’s rarely reported as such on the news, and makes it sound like HAP properties are all unsafe).

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,264 ✭✭✭ Yellow_Fern

    If a council inspector tells you that you need hole in the wall vent and ducted extractor and your management company says these alterations are forbidden, I don't know what one can do. It is not really the landlord's fault.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,497 ✭✭✭ Manion

    I meant to ask about this, in a situation where a property is rented out and regs change (for instance the minimum C rating, which I think is still not a reg?) are you obliged to meet the new standard or can you just opt out of being a landlord?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,952 ✭✭✭ handlemaster

  • Registered Users Posts: 221 ✭✭ sandyxxx

    We're renting through HAP a house,and LL's possiblylooking at sellin the house as prices are almost at (purchased) Celtic tiger levels.....if we fail the upcoming HAP inspection(window locks issue),will it give them an "out" to wrap the tenancy up early?

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,506 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_maxx

    C rating isn't the minimum rating but local authority often has unrealistic demands in terms of ventilation on old houses

  • Subscribers Posts: 37,767 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    whats the issue with the windows?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,497 ✭✭✭ Manion

    I get that, bit there was talk of it coming in as a rule. What are your options when rules change?

    I'd guess either the bottom pane doesn't open. Used to be kinda the common window type but you get new windows installed today they will always allow egress at the bottom.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,506 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_maxx

    I'm always willing to improve the house I've leased to the council and guy who inspected mine was fairly reasonable but he wouldn't accept trickle vents in my windows as he claimed rooms were too small so I had to put vented slates on the roof and fit ducting pipe down to vents in ceiling

    Stone walls so drilling not option, he let me off with trickle vents in downstairs as obviously ducting from roof could not reach ground floor

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    " I know for sure I'll get paid"

    With all due respect....not being offensive here.....but if you believe that perhaps being a 'landlord' isn't the best way to go

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Not quite as simple as that.......but " Yes" is the answer

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,463 ✭✭✭ harringtonp

    Can a HAP inspection be requested before renting ? If you're undecided between renting and selling, its outcome could be the difference in which way you go.