What Is the Rent Supplement in Ireland for 2023?

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With the housing crisis and inflation only getting worse in Ireland, more and more people are looking into getting help for their rent and other living expenses. Fortunately, there’s a lot of help available for renters, and in this Rent Supplement guide, we’ll walk you through what the rent supplement is, how it works, and what changes are coming to it in 2022.

What Is the Rent Supplement in Ireland?

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The rent supplement in Ireland is a means-tested programme available to people who are struggling to pay their rent along with their other living expenses, especially to help dealing with the housing crisis in Ireland. It is a short-term scheme aimed at people who are privately renting in Ireland, so you won’t qualify if you are on social housing.

How Long Is Rent Supplement Paid For?

The rent supplement is usually a short-term payment so it is usually paid out in the period between 1 to 3 months. You can ask for an extension for up to 3 months for the supplement, but if you need more long-term help, you should look to the HAP Scheme.

Is the Rent Supplement Transferring to the HAP Scheme?

The rent supplement is no longer available to apply for but it is still running for the people who are already on the scheme. However, everyone who is currently receiving the rent supplement will be steadily transferred over to the HAP Scheme which is the new long-term social housing support for people struggling with their rent.

What is the HAP Scheme? The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Scheme is the social housing programme that will eventually replace the Rent Supplement. Instead of paying rent directly to landlords, the HAP scheme involves a weekly payment that tenants make payments to their local authorities based on their income. The local authority then pays rent to the landlord. 

Check Out Our HAP Scheme Guide!

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How Do I Qualify for the Rent Supplement?

In order to qualify for the rent supplement, you need to meet certain circumstantial and income requirements. The most important requirement is that you are already a private tenant who is renting from a landlord who is not associated with a housing association or another social housing organisation.

Here are other main requirements for receiving the rent supplement in Ireland if you are a resident in Ireland or from an EU/EFTA country:

  • Pass the Means-Test
    The rent supplement is a means-tested payment meaning that your financials will be assessed before you start receiving it. You will need to be able to provide details about your finances so you receive the right amount of support relative to your situation.
  • At Least 6 Months of Renting
    You will need to have been renting the house or flat you need the rent supplement for for at least 6 months before you can apply. You also need to have been able to afford the rent at the beginning of your tenancy agreement and that you need help due to a change in your circumstances such as a job loss.
  • You Received the Rent Supplement Before
    You will also qualify if you’ve received the rent supplement at any point in the previous 12 months. If 12 months have passed from your last payment, you would need to prove that you are eligible again.
  • Pass Habitual Residence Test
    You will also need to have passed the habitual residence test to prove that the place you’re living in is where you usually stay. Habitual resident condition is not altogether clear and has no strict criteria but it will usually include showing evidence that where you're renting is your main residence and not a business address for example.

On the other hand, there are some situations where you won’t qualify for the rent supplement. These are usually related to circumstances where you’ve had other options available to you or you are staying with a relative. You’ll usually not qualify for for the rent supplement if you’re:

  • In Full-Time Employment
    If you’re in full-time employment you won’t be able to claim the rent supplement. If you are fully employed and still struggling to manage your living costs, there are other alternatives that are available.
  • Renting from a Parent 
    If you’re living at home with a parent, you will not be able to receive a rent supplement. You can however claim it if you are renting from your parent’s second home if you have a formal tenancy agreement with them and you fulfil the rest of the requirements.
  • Living with your landlord 
    If you’re living with your landlord you will only be able to receive the rent supplement if you’re in a formal tenancy agreement and they also fill in part of the rent supplement application form.
  • A Full-Time Student 
    If you’re a full-time student, you won’t be eligible for the rent supplement but you will be able to receive other help which is directly specifically to students in Ireland.
  • Leaving Social Housing for No Reason 
    If you’ve left social housing for no reason and have immediately applied for the rent supplement, you will not be eligible.

You will also not be eligible for the rent supplement if you’ve already been transferred onto the HAP scheme.

What Are the Rent Supplement Rates?

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The amount you’ll get from the rent supplement will depend on your income and what help you’re already receiving. It can be very complicated to calculate and will vary enormously from person to person. Since the rent supplement is a means-tested welfare payment, all your income will be assessed.

How Is My Income Assessed?

Your income is assessed on the total amount of income you receive from either employment of other social welfare payments. Generally speaking, the following is included in the calculation:

  1. Income from employment
  2. Social welfare payments
  3. Savings and investments

Your savings and investments will be added together to make your total capital. The amount of capital you have will affect how much you’ll receive in your rent supplement. Here are the different bands for the different amounts of capital you have:

Capital Amount Bands
Capital AmountWeekly Means Assessment
First €5,000€0
Next €10,000€1 for every €1,000
Next €25,000€2 for every €1,000
More than €40,000€4 for every €1,000

Last Updated: 22/08/2022 
Source: Citizens Information

You will also face rent limits depending on the size of your family and the place that you’re renting from. The maximum amount of rent you can have for the rent supplement ranges from €210 to €1,250 depending on the city or area you live in since it will usually change whether you’re in renting in Dublin or renting in Cork.

How Is the Rent Supplement Calculated?

The rent supplement is complicated to calculate and requires several steps in order to give you an actual figure. The calculation for the rent supplement will be undertaken by the Department of Social Protection so you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself! For more information, please read our guide to the Supplementary Welfare Allowance which more details with the social housing support in more detail

Check Out Our Supplementary Welfare Allowance Guide!

How Can I Apply To the Rent Supplement?

Unfortunately, you can’t make any new applications for the rent supplement since it’s being transferred over to the HAP Scheme. Originally, you had to fill in the rent supplement application form in order to apply for the rent supplement.

Where Can I Find the Rent Supplement Form?

You can find the rent supplement form online from sites such as Citizens Information or you can pick it up at your local Community Welfare Office (CWO). If you go into an office, you’ll be able to find an officer to help you fill in the form. If you are filling in the form, you will need to make sure you have all your correct information to hand.

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How Do I Fill In the Rent Supplement Form?

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The rent supplement form has seven steps you need to fill in in order to complete it and send it off for approval. Make sure you have your PPS number and you have spoken to your landlord about applying for the rent supplement so they can also sign it.

  1. Your Details 
    Firstly, you need to fill in your details including your name, date of birth, PPS number, and the address of the property you are applying for. You will also need to include your contact information such as phone number and email address as well as income details.
  2. Spouse, Partner or Cohabitant’s Details 
    You’ll then need to fill in the same details for your spouse, partner or cohabitant. You should make sure to include all their financial information as well.
  3. Capital Assessment 
    In this next part you will need to make sure you put down all the details about your savings and investments. This includes any property, bonds, stocks or insurance policies you own and you will need to fill them out at their current market value.
  4. Children’s and Dependents’ Details 
    If you have any children, you will need to include their names, dates of birth and whether they live with you or not. If you have a child who’s between 18-22 and is a student, then you should include them as well. You will need to include the names of any other dependents you have too.
  5. Previous Social Housing Benefits 
    If you’re currently receiving or have received previous social housing benefits, you’ll need to include the details in this section. You should also indicate if you’ve received the rent supplement within the last 12 months.
  6. Payment Details 
    For this part, you’ll need to indicate whether you want to be paid in cash at the post office or if you want to receive a bank transfer. If at the post office, you need to indicate the address and if you want to receive the supplement via bank transfer, you will need to fill in your IBAN.
  7. Landlord’s Details and Signiture 
    You need to ask your landlord to fill in their details when applying for the rent supplement. They will need to provide their address and their PPS number as well as sign the rent supplement form.

Make sure you go over your rent supplement form to ensure you’ve filled out all the details correctly and accurately and make sure you sign the declaration.

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