A key component of the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan and now Housing for All is the Vacant Housing, Repair and Leasing Initiative, which targets the delivery of social housing and also ensures that existing housing stock is used to the maximum degree possible.
The basis of the scheme is that repair and improvement works to suitable vacant properties are funded (up to a maximum of €60,000 including VAT) to bring them up to the standard for rented accommodation, the properties are then leased to the Council/Approved Housing Bodies for a minimum of 5 years and the cost of the works is deducted from lease payments over the agreed lease term. The property must be vacant for at least 12 months and it must be in a location that the local Authority has a demand for accommodation.
Tipperary County Council will assist property owners to develop the scope of necessary works and also aid the property owner in the completion of the repair works. Property inspections are carried out by Tipperary County Council staff who will identify the works required to bring the dwelling to the required standard.
If you are interested in this scheme please complete and return the enquiry form, available below.
The Repair and Lease Scheme specifically focuses on utilising existing vacant housing stock throughout the country and has the potential to deliver significant social housing delivery in the coming years.
The type of lease agreements permitted under the scheme are:
a) Direct Lease Arrangement (DLA)
- Term: 5 to 25 years
- Rent: 80% (85% for apartments with a significant service charge ) of the current market rental rates in the property location
b) Rental Availability Arrangement (RAA)
- Term: 5 to 10 years
- Rent: 92% (95% for apartments with a significant service charge) of the current market rental rates in the property location
The RAA will appeal to owners who want a shorter lease term and are prepared to take on landlord responsibilities in return for the additional 12% in rent compared to the rental rates for direct leases (i.e. 92% compared to 80%).
The minimum lease term required under RLS is 5 years. This minimum term applies both where an owner chooses to enter into a direct leasing arrangement or a Rental Availability Arrangement. Where a shorter-term agreement is entered into, the capital outlay must be repaid over a shorter period.
Therefore, where relevant, Tipperary County Council will ensure that the duration of the agreement, and level of repayments, are agreed having regard to the financial return to the property owner over the shorter period.
Extension of the RLS scheme to unfinished properties in limited circumstances
Local authorities may use RLS funding where applications are made in respect of new, vacant (for minimum 12 months) but unfinished dwellings.
The funding may only be used for the purposes of bringing the dwelling into line with the Standards for Rented Houses Regulations and may not be used for other development works such as common areas, entrance roads etc. Applications to fund these works on unfinished dwellings are not covered by the delegated sanction model and will require Departmental approval on a case by case basis.
Apportionment of funds between one or more dwellings Where a property owner is bringing more than one dwelling into the scheme, the funds available i.e. €60,000 (incl. VAT) per dwelling, may be apportioned between a number of dwellings once total funding for all dwellings doesn't exceed €60,000 per dwelling. So for example, if 6 dwellings are being brought into the scheme, total funding for the 6 properties may not exceed €360,000 (incl. VAT).
This will allow owners to bring multiple dwellings into the RLS scheme even where the cost of repairs on one of these units exceeds the funding limit of €60,000. This is subject to a minimum spend on each dwelling, which may be determined by the local authority taking the overall level of funding into account.
Further Information and FAQS on The Repair & Lease Scheme can be found at the following link:https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/d32c4-repair-and-leasing-scheme-rls-fu...
A dedicated website www.vacanthomes.ie is available for members of the public to anonymously log possible vacant properties.
Local authorities can then follow up with the owners of the vacant dwellings to see if they can quickly be brought back into use in order to provide for families and individuals with a housing need.
The website, apart from assisting local authorities, also provides useful information for vacant home property owners as to what steps are needed and how they can bring their vacant unit back into use.
Should you have any queries in relation to the scheme, please contact Vacant Homes Officer Nevan Phelan – firstname.lastname@example.org or 0818 06 5000