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HAP (Rent Allowance) Rules.

  • 06-11-2022 5:17pm
    Registered Users Posts: 3,940 ✭✭✭chicorytip

    Hello. Would a local authority award the HAP or rent allowance - I'm not sure if they are one and the the same these days - to a single applicant currently renting a three bed unit in a provincial city for €1300 per month?

    This applicant is on social welfare and is funding the cost from the proceeds of an inheritance and has been unable to find alternative cheaper accomodation but should qualify on the basis of their means being within the limit allowed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,677 ✭✭✭ballyharpat

    A single person in a 3 bed property? No, they would not pay HAP in those circumstances.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,940 ✭✭✭chicorytip

    Why not? Will they pay only for one bed units if the applicant is single with no dependants?

  • Hard to know.

    Here are some of the rules around HAP:

    HAP rent limits

    In general, the rent must be within the allowed HAP rent limits for your household size and the area you live in.

    However, local authorities have flexibility to go above the HAP rent limits, if you can’t find accommodation within the limits. They do this on a case-by-case basis and can:

    • Go up to 35% above the rent limits. This flexibility was increased from 20% to 35% on 11 July 2022 and applies to new and existing HAP tenancies.
    • Increase the HAP rates for a single person to the rates allowed for couples. This has been allowed since 11 July 2022 and applies to new HAP tenancies.

    So I guess the first thing to check is the HAP limit for a single person for the area they live in.

    Generally speaking, they do expect the accommodation to meet the size requirements for the family. But as this is an already existing tenancy, there may be flexibility if it can be shown that no other accommodation can be sourced.

  • thinking about it, maybe they could ask the landlord to let 1 or both of the vacant bedrooms?

    They do pay HAP for single people in shared accommodation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 670 ✭✭✭RonanG86

    HAP in principle will pay to a single applicant living in any property on their own, regardless of size. The issue is money.

    Depending on what county they're in, the HAP payment for a single non-house share will be limited to anything from €400 - 660 leaving the tenant with the rest to cover themselves. And then the HAP unit check whether the total payment (ie. Diff rent to cover HAP, plus the top-up to the landlord to meet the rest of the rent) the tenant will be making is considered sustainable. Because whilst its fine for people not getting HAP to have to pay unsustainable rents, it's a bad look for the government to actively support an unsustainable rent. The threshold for that is 35% of their income, I think (ie. if the tenant is paying more in rent to HAP and to their landlord than 35% of their income, the rent is considered unsustainable for that household and HAP aren't supposed to support it), but they may have a little leeway around that.

    If you want to be sure, contact the relevant Council and ask to speak to whoever deals with HAP.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 539 ✭✭✭steinbock123

    Do you have to be on welfare to get HAP?

    i know someone who is getting social welfare payments, but her husband has a good job and earns c50k a year. It’s her name on the rental agreement though, so can she get HAP or are there household income limits that would exclude her from getting HAP payments ??

  • No you don't have to be in receipt of a social welfare payment to qualify for HAP, and it is paid to those in employment, once they meet the other qualifying conditions. (income limit, etc).

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,677 ✭✭✭ballyharpat

    Yeah, apparently once you start receiving hap, its very difficult for them to take it from you. If she applied for it and included her partners salary, she would not get it.

    That's my inderstanding of it anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,677 ✭✭✭ballyharpat

    It would be on a case by case basis, but I believe it's very difficult to get HAP initially, also, in these circumstances with the current rental crisis, I cant see them paying rent for one person that could , in theory, house 6. But that's assuming they would use common sense, but it doesn't always apply.