Housing FAQs

Social Housing

Social housing support means that you may be eligible for housing in Council owned properties, RAS (Rental Accommodation Scheme) properties, Long Term Leasing properties, Voluntary Housing Association properties etc.

All offers are made in accordance with Fingal County Council Allocations Scheme for Social Housing Support, which is based on Date in Need (i.e. length of time on the list).

  • A new allocations scheme replaces the Scheme of Letting Priorities.
  • To be eligible for Social Housing Support in the Fingal County Council area you must either live in the County Council area or have a connection to the area.
  • You may apply to one Local Authority only. Please see point 6 below in relation to your choice of areas.
  • You must have a legal right to remain in the State on a long term basis.
  • You must not own alternative accommodation which could be occupied or sold and the proceeds used to secure other suitable accommodation.
  • Your net income must be below the thresholds below;


Two Adults
No Children

One Adult
One Child

One Adult
Two Children

One Adult
Three Children

Two Adults
One Child

Two Adults
Two Children 

Two Adults
Four or more Children 

Three Adults
Four or more Children










You may identify up to three housing areas – however, one must be in the Fingal area.  Your other two choices could be in the other Dublin Local Authority areas i.e. Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council and/or Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

If you so decide, your three choices may all lie within the Fingal County Council area.

You may change your choice of housing area once in any twelve month period.

Should you refuse two offers of housing within a twelve month period your application will be suspended for twelve months. Your application will be re-activated after this period however this suspension will not count as time on the housing list.  You will not be on the Council’s Housing List for the suspension period and will not have access to Choice Based Letting or eligible for any social housing support. Your entitlement to Supplementary Rent Allowance may also be affected.

Unfortunately this cannot be determined.  

Criteria for eligibility for Council housing are included in the Council's Allocation Scheme. 

Eligibility criteria include:

  • Need
  •  Right to live in Ireland
  •  Age
  • Income

Persons applying for HAP must be a qualified housing applicant(s) before they can apply.

All rent payments to the landlord are made electronically on the last Wednesday of every month.

HAP recipients move off the councils main Social Housing Waiting list onto the HAP Transfer List, retaining their time built up while on the original list. 

The HAP transfer list runs side by side with the Social Housing Waiting list and will receive a percentage of dwelling allocations provided by the council.

Becoming a HAP landlord has lots of advantages.

For landlords/agents:

  • The landlord or their agent will receive prompt payments directly from the local authority on a monthly basis, subject to the HAP recipient paying the local authority their rent contribution.  All payments will be made electronically; there will be no need for rent collection from tenants who are HAP recipients leading to administrative savings for landlords
  • Landlords who rent to tenants in receipt of social housing supports like the housing assistance payment (HAP) may avail of increased tax relief under a new scheme from 1 January 2016.  The new scheme will allow property owners to claim 100 per cent relief on their mortgage interest, as an expense against rental income. Further information is also available from the Revenue Commissioners on www.revenue.ie
  • HAP allows recipients to take up full-time employment, while still receiving housing support
  • The rent contribution payable by the HAP recipient will be based on the differential rent scheme for their local authority. This scheme links the rent contribution a household must pay to the household income and the ability to pay
  • HAP will help to regulate the private rental sector and improve standards of accommodation. Properties will be inspected to make sure that they meet the required standards
  • HAP recipients will be able to avail of other social housing supports and options, if they so choose
  • Local authorities will be responsible for all housing supports in their area.

No. The contract will be a private contract between the tenant and the landlord. The HAP tenant is the landlords tenant and not a tenant of Fingal County Council.

If for whatever reason, when HAP apply to your bank account for payment and you have insufficient funds in your account to meet the payment.

Don't panic! HAP will retry in three days to collect the monies from your account. (Do not use your payment card in the Post Office to pay until after HAP try a second time to collect the money from your account)

(Should you use your payments card before the second attempt for payment from your bank account, you may double pay for that week.

To avoid disappointment, please ensure you have sufficient funds in your account to meet your payment. 

Residential rental properties must provide safe, efficient, durable, comfortable and environmentally sustainable homes for those who live in them. They must also be solid, stable and secure investments for those who own them.


The high levels of demand for a limited supply of rented accommodation, which is driving high rates of rent price inflation in some parts of the country, also constitutes a threat to the quality of rented accommodation as tenants may feel obliged to accept substandard dwellings, due to the lack of affordable alternatives. In this context, the role of Housing Authorities have a critical public role and duty in ensuring compliance with the standards for rental accommodation through effective inspections.


HAP recipients have access to other social housing supports offered by local authorities, such as local authority housing.

The tenant is responsible for paying any security deposit a landlord may require. The local authority will not pay the security deposit for you. 

Should you have difficulty in paying the security deposit, you may qualify for an "Exceptional Needs Payment" from The Department of Social Protection at http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Exceptional-Needs-Payments.aspx

No. Your property will remain your property and will not be signed over to the Local Authority when you take in a tenant in receipt of the HAP scheme. The agreement between the landlord, tenant and the property will not differ from how the private rental market currently operates. 

Housing Loans and Rents
  • Tenants who find themselves in arrears should not ignore the problem
  • Arrears should be paid immediately
  • If it is not possible to pay the arrears immediately tenants should contact the rent arrears section as soon as possible to discuss a repayment plan.
  •  If a repayment plan is put in place to pay the rent and arrears over a period of time this agreement must be adhered to.
  • Please note that if arrears persist the Council may be forced to initiate legal proceedings to repossess the property.

No one can move into a property without notifying and receiving permission from the Housing Department (Allocations). If anyone is planning to move into a Council property they should contact Housing Allocations to obtain a Permission to Reside form. Please be aware that the weekly rent may increase with the addition of an extra person and this additional rent will be back-dated to when the person moved in.

  • Please notify the Housing Department immediately if a member of your household moves out
  • Documentary evidence of change of address (e.g. lease agreement, utility bill etc.) must be provided to remove an occupant from the rent account 
  • A balance can be given over the phone or via email to the tenant of the property only.
  • Please note that we can only discuss tenancy matters with the named tenant of the property, unless an agreement is in place for a third party to act/speak on the tenant’s behalf
  • A statement is issued to tenants every three months. Tenants can check their receipts/payments against this statement.
  • Please contact the Housing Rents section and we can post out a replacement card
  • You can also call in person at the housing counter, Monday – Friday 10am until 4pm and a replacement card can be issued.
  • It is possible to pay your rent through the Household Budget deduction scheme for those on Social Welfare payments. Deductions may  not exceed  25% of income (contact Housing Rents for further details)
  • By using a payment card, which is accepted in all Post Offices and shops which display the PostPoint sign, or online at http://www.mybills.ie/. Please note that when paying online you must enter the 6 digit number on your rent card when asked for a reference.
  • By using a standing order through your bank. Standing order letters are available from Housing Rents.
  • By cheque, postal order or bank draft

Yes, it is a requirement of your tenancy agreement.

It is very important that tenants fill in the household information form correctly each year and supply us with current income details for all members of the household. This enables us to calculate a weekly rent which is accurate based on the income details provided.

The Council should be immediately notified if there is a change in income details of any of the members of the household during the year. If there is a delay in doing this back dated debits may be applied to your account.

Council Housing rents are based on a system called ‘differential rents.’ This means that the amount of rent you pay depends on the amount of your total household income. If your income increases then so does the rent and if your income decreases then the weekly rent decreases accordingly. Rent is calculated based on the current Differential Rent Scheme.


The person in receipt of the highest income is the principal earner. All other persons in the household with an income are subsidiary earners. Rent is calculated as follows:- principal earner’s income less €35 multiplied by 16%. Subsidiary earners income is calculated the same way, but is capped at €18 per earner. A €1 rent deduction is applied to all children and students in the household. An additional service charge may also apply, such as boiler maintenance or heating charge.

  • Some older accounts that use a payment card can pay in the post office or make a payment in shops using the “Post Point” sign
  • By standing order through the bank
  • Using online banking
  • By cheque made payable to Fingal County Council
  • Some older accounts that use a payment card can pay in the post office or make a payment in shops using the “Post Point” sign
  • By standing order through the bank
  • Using online banking
  • By cheque made payable to Fingal County Council

Your payment should come into your mortgage account on the 1st day of every month.

You can write to the Housing Loans Section requesting a redemption quotation.  A written quotation will be posted out to you.

You can ring any member of the Housing Revenue Loans section.

You can ring any member of the Housing Revenue Loans section.

An annual statement is issued every year or you can get a statement showing these details by ringing the Loan Accounts section.

Yes, you can make a lump sum payment off your mortgage.  You should send your request in writing together with your payment to the Housing Revenue Loans Section.

Mortgage Protection Insurance covers the borrower in the case of incapacity up to age 65 and in the case of death up to age 75.  It does not cover redundancy or unemployment. 

Please contact Housing Loans Section.

You can talk to our dedicated Arrears Support Office or you can contact any member of the Housing Loans Section.

The Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP) was introduced to Local Authorities in October 2012 to help borrowers who are In arrears.

Yes. Every borrower’s case is treated confidentially.

For all loan applications gross earnings for a single-person application must not exceed €50,000 and for joint applications combined gross earnings must not exceed €75,000.

The maximum loan term is 25 years.

Loans will not exceed 97% of the cost of the dwelling or the market value, whichever is less (excluding all grants) and subject to a maximum of €200,000. Mortgage repayments shall not exceed 35% of an applicant's net pay.

The grant is means tested and the level of grant is determined by taking account of the annual gross income of the registered property owner together with all household members over 18 (or 23 if in full time education) in the previous tax year.  In order to qualify for a grant under this scheme the gross household income must not exceed €30,000 (some applicants may qualify for certain income disregards).

See below for an example of the works covered by each of the grants:

Grant Type

Examples of Works Covered

Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability

  • A ramp or other ways to access your home
  • Grab rails
  • Bathroom facilities like an accessible shower or downstairs toilet
  • Stairlifts
  • Space for wheelchair access
  • An extension (typically for a bedroom and/or bathroom)

Mobility Aids Grant

  • Grab rails
  • Ramps
  • Accessible Showers
  • Stairlifts

Housing Aid for Older People Grant

Essential repairs or refurbishment, including the following:

  • Repair or replacement of roof
  • Upgrading of electrical wiring
  • Repair or replacement of windows or doors
  • Provision of central heating where there is no central heating or it is broken beyond economic repair

The maximum grant available is €6,000 or 100% of the approved nett cost of proposed works.  The applicant may qualify for a refund of the VAT from the Revenue Commissioners subject to certain conditions once they have paid the contractor in full.

Within one week. The property will be inspected and if deemed suitable for leasing by our inspection the Council will then enter into negotiations with you in respect of rental terms.

The lease would be for 10 to 20 years and will be agreed between the owner and the Council.

Applicants will be allocated from the Council’s Housing Allocations list.

The Council will determine the assessment of need for housing in line with the Council's 'Sustainable Communities Objectives'. It would then be subject to the suitability of your property to meet our needs and the condition of your property, agreement of rent,  production of the various pieces of information requested e.g. BER Cert and conditions of lease.

The rent equal to 80% of the current market rent.

Every 3-4yrs in accordance with the lease agreement, even if rents go up or down.

The rent will be paid quarterly in advance by electronic transfer directly into a bank account. Please note that, if the owner is living outside or Ireland, the rental income is subject to withholding tax. Further details on this aspect are available on www.revenue.ie.


Yes, please see list below.

Schedule of Furnishings and Appliances



-Appropriate Floor Covering (in good condition)

-Blinds/Curtains (in good condition)

-Cooker (in good working order)

-Hood Extractor (in good working order)

-Refrigerator / Freezer (in good working order)

-Washing Machine (in good working order)

Living Room

-Floor Covering(s) (in good condition)

-Suite of furniture (appropriate to room size and in good 


-Blinds/Curtains (in good condition)

Dining Room

-Floor Covering(s) (in good condition)

-Table & Chairs (appropriate to property size and in good 


-Blinds/Curtains (in good condition)
 Bedroom 1

-Floor Covering(s) (in good condition)

-Bed/Mattress (appropriate to room size, new/fairly new)

-Blinds/Curtains (in good condition)

-Wardrobe (appropriate to room size and in good condition)
 Bedroom 2

-Floor Covering(s) (in good condition)

-Bed/Mattress (appropriate to room size, new/fairly new)

-Blinds/Curtains (in good condition)

-Wardrobe (appropriate to room size and in good condition)
 Bedroom 3

-Floor Covering(s) (in good condition)

-Bed/Mattress (appropriate to room size, new/fairly new)

-Blinds/Curtains (in good condition)

-Wardrobe (appropriate to room size and in good condition)

-Appropriate Floor Coverings (in good condition)

-Bathroom Cabinet (in good condition)

-Shower screen/curtain (in good condition)

-Blinds/Curtains (in good condition)

The Council takes responsibility to manage the tenancy and to manage and maintain the property. 

The owner of the property will retain responsibility for structural maintenance, structural insurance and structural repair.

The person(s) allocated the property in the case of houses and the Management Company in the case of apartments.

The management fees remain the responsibility of the owner of the property.

Properties must be of a very good to excellent standard and condition. 

During the negotiation process the Council will arrange an inspection of the property to ascertain its suitability for inclusion under lease arrangements. It will be inspected to confirm that the property meets very high structural and decorative standards. Properties must comply with the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses Regulations 2008) and also with all planning and Building Regulations.

The Council will have the responsibility for dealing with anti-social behaviour.


Yes. However payments may be terminated in circumstances where a landlord is in breach of his/her obligations under the term of the lease agreement.

No. Under the long term leasing arrangement the property can be sold by the property owner during the term but only on the condition that the lease agreement is transferred to the new owner and the Local Authority is notified in advance and is in agreement.

In some instances the property owner may agree with the Local Authority to include an "option to purchase‟ and/or a “right of first refusal” as a condition of the lease. These clauses give the Local Authority the option to buy the property at intervals during or at the end of the lease or oblige the owner to first offer the property to the Council should he/she decide to sell. Both parties must be in agreement to include this condition and the specific terms must be negotiated.

Yes. Written consent is required from your lender.

The Council will require a description of the property as well as documents such as the BER (Building Energy Rating), Valid Tax Clearance Certificate and Bank details. Proof of ownership will also be a requirement as will permission for the lender if applicable. A full list of required documents will be provided to the owner in advance of signing of lease.

You apply using the RPZ calculator on WWW.RTB.IE   You then post or email the resulting calculations to the RAS section.  A 90 day notice must be given before the new rent takes effect.

In order for a HAP payment to be paid into a landlords bank account. HAP need to ensure the landlord receiving the payment is in fact the owner of the property being rented.

There are a number of ways to prove ownership of a property. Listed below are the documents we are allowed to accept as proof of ownership any one of the following.

  • Title deed or similar legal instrument proving ownership of the property                  
  • Current registration letter from the RTB showing the landlords name and the property address. If the house is sub-divided into self-contained flats, each individual flat will need to be registered with the RTB
  • Insurance policy/schedule for the property. (Must be current and in date. We can not accept renewal notices)
  • Mortgage Statement dated within the last 12 months indicating landlord as the owner of the property and indicating the property being rented is in fact the same property on the mortgage statement.
  • Local Property Tax (LPT) statement showing payment, If the house is sub-divided into self-contained flats, LPT must be paid for each individual flat.

Landlords need only provide one of the documents listed above as proof of ownership.

From our experience we have found landlords tend to find the RTB letter or insurance schedule as the easiest to attain.

The property size in which HAP will pay rent to your landlord (on your behalf) depends solely on your current housing need.


If your current housing need is for a one bedroom property, HAP will only pay rent to your landlord if the property you have found is a one bedroom property. HAP will not pay rent to a landlord of a three bedroom property on your behalf if your current housing need is for a one bedroom property. If you are unsure about your current housing need, you can contact our Allocations Department

Section 32 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 – Duty to inform rating authority of transfer of relevant property

(i) An owner is required to notify the local authority where there is a change in the person ordinarily liable for rates on his or her property, i.e. where there is a change in ownership, change in tenancy or where a tenant vacates and is not replaced immediately.

(ii) Where the owner is selling the property, it is their duty to pay all rates for which he or she is liable for at the date of transfer of the property.

Outgoing occupiers are required to pay all rates for which they may be liable prior to or on the date of the transfer of the property/ date of their vacating the premises.

Where a property is being transferred from one person to another that would result in a change in the person liable for rates, i.e. a change in ownership; or a change in occupier including where an occupier leaves and the property becomes vacant.

No, the duty of the owner to inform the local authority of a transfer of property and the explicit duty on the person transferring the property to pay all rates for which he or she is liable for at the date of the transfer is predicated on the transfer bringing about a change in liability for rates on the property. If the ownership of a property transfers from one person to another without there being a change of occupancy then the duties associated with this section do not apply.

Yes, the owner is required to notify the local authority of this change as the outgoing occupier will no longer be liable for rates on the property in the future, hence determining a change in the occupier liable for rates. 

Yes, the owner of the property is required to notify the local authority as the incoming occupier will now become liable for rates on that property in the future.

Section 32 requires that the owner notifies the local authority not later than two weeks after the date of the transfer. Ownership transfers when the sale is complete. In the case of the transfer of tenancies and other interests, this is ordinarily determined on a date specified on the lease/ contract. 

Owners are required to notify the local authority of the details of the transfer and the details of the outgoing and incoming occupier. The form is available on the local authority website. Please download, complete, sign and return the notification form.

Subsection 2(a) provides that either the owner or such other person as the owner has authorised in writing to act on his behalf must notify the local authority.

If the owner does not notify in writing the local authority of a transfer of a property (or the transfer of interest in a property) within 2 weeks of the date of transfer, he/she may be subject to the penalty of a charge equivalent to the level of rates outstanding from the previous occupier to a maximum of 2 years’ worth of rates liabilities. Any such equivalent charge not paid by an owner will remain a charge on the property.

Any rates due by the owner of property at the date of transfer and not paid will remain a charge on the property.

Section 32(4) provides for a charge equivalent to up to two years of outstanding rates on the owner of a property who does not notify the local authority of a transfer of interest in a property within two weeks of the transfer and where the outstanding rates liable on date of transfer have not been paid. 

The penalty accrues after the expiration of the 14 days, therefore on the 15th day after the transfer.

If it comes to the attention of the local authority at a later date than after the fifteenth day that the owner has not fulfilled their obligation, a penalty shall be applied. The penalty in this instance would still be an amount equivalent to the rates that remained outstanding from the previous occupier on the date the property/ interest in the property was transferred, up to a maximum of two years of rates liabilities.

No the equivalent charge (as determined on the 15th day after the date of transfer of the property) is not affected by the subsequent payment of the outstanding rates. 

The equivalent charge is levied where the owner of the property has not notified the local authority of the transfer within 2 weeks of the transfer and where the person transferring the property has not paid all rates for which he or she is liable. 

Yes. The owner, regardless if he is in occupation or not, must notify the local authority of the transfer of ownership or if a new occupier is coming in to replace him as occupant (i.e. brings about a change in liability for rates). If the owner does not notify the local authority and does not pay outstanding rates due, he or she will be liable for the penalty (of a value of up to two years outstanding rates) in addition to any other rates liability that arises from his or her occupation previously. Both the unpaid rates due from an owner and not paid on transfer and the equivalent charge shall remain a charge on the property (sections 32(3) and 32(5)) if not paid.

No, the liability for unpaid rates of a previous occupier does not become a charge on the property, unless that occupier is also the owner of that property.

The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan is now available for eligible properties.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs


Helpline: 051-3499720

How Do I Apply?

Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan Application Form

Is There An Application Fee?


How Long Will It Take?

4 - 5 weeks: from Submission of a fully completed application to a recommendation from the Housing Agency.

3 - 6 weeks: for consideration by Cork City Council's Credit Committee.

6 months: a successful applicant has 6 months to agree the purchase of a suitable property.

Rent is calculated on the total household income. This is based on a differential rents scheme applied to all household income. It is charged weekly.

A proportion of the principal earner’s income is taken, together with a contribution from all subsidiary earners in the household.

The principal earner is the person who is in receipt of the highest assessable income.

A subsidiary earner is a member of the household other than the principal earner who has an income.

Yes, in respect of dependent children. Dependent children are those who are under 21 years of age and are attending a full-time course of education and are wholly or mainly maintained by the principal earner.

Where household income is under-declared, arrears of rent will be applied to the rent account. It is the responsibility of the tenant to declare any changes in household income or changes in persons residing in the property to Limerick City and County Council.

Income from all employment, including self employment

All social insurance, social assistance, payment allowances, pensions, health board allowances, training allowances

Income from all pensions

Child maintenance payments

Carers Allowance

What income is disregarded in calculating rent?

Children’s Allowance

Orphan’s allowance/pension

Scholarships/Higher Education Grants

Fuel Allowance

Living Alone Allowance

Allowances payable under the Boarding out of children Regulations 1954

Allowances for domiciliary care of handicapped children under the Health Act 1970

The primary responsibility rests with the tenant to immediately notify the Council of any changes in household income or composition. Tenants are asked periodically to confirm household residents and income. Tenants who do not return this information, fully certified within a certain timeframe may incur an additional charge. It is the tenants’ responsibility to return the necessary information as soon as possible.

Rent can be paid a number of different ways:

By household budget (deduction at source from my social welfare payment made in the post office)

Bank Standing Order which can be set up at the bank

Bill pay at the post office, using a rent card supplied by the local authority

At the cash desk in the local authority offices

Online payments via the local authorities website

If you have any queries in relation to your Rent / Rental Accommodation Scheme / Improvement Works in Lieu payments please contact your local office.

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