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HOUSING AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY Disability Legal Advise Training Session September 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "HOUSING AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY Disability Legal Advise Training Session September 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 HOUSING AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY Disability Legal Advise Training Session September 2011

2 STUDENT ACCOMMODATION TYPES 1. Renting from private landlord – registered or unregistered 2. Renting in campus accommodation - 3. Living at home – no legislation 4. Digs 5. Local authority housing 6. Housing association tenant

3 TYPES OF PRIVATE TENANCIES Periodic tenancy ✓ no fixed amount of time - an be weekly/monthly depending on when rent is paid ✓ Should have a written tenancy agreement ✓ Should have a rent book ✓ Can become Part 4 tenancy after 6 months ✓ Termination of tenancy same as detailed below Part 4 tenancies ✓ Automatically acquired after 6 months renting – increased security of tenure re termination ✓ Can last for 4 years and then be renewed ✓ Fixed term tenants can claim part 4 tenancy by notifying landlord in writing 1 – 3 months before end of fixed term ✓ Part 4 tenancy apply automatically to periodic tenants

4 FIXED TERM LEASE/TENANCY Fixed-term tenancies ✓ lasts for specific time, tenants cannot be asked to leave during this time provided they are abiding by the lease terms ✓ usually with written lease agreement. ✓ must respect legal rights of tenants and landlords eg entering without permission ✓ Joint lease agreements mean all leasees are responsible for rent ✓ Tenant can only end agreement if landlord is in breach of terms where they have notified landlord of the breaches to no avail ✓ If tenant wants to assign lease to someone else or sublet must inform landlord in writing. If refused can serve notice of termination ✓ Tenants should have the original lease and landlord keeps a copy ✓ Rent arrears must be notified to the tenant by the landlord ✓ If arrears not cleared landlord can issue a termination notice giving 28 days notice

5 RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT 2004 – LANDLORDS OBLIGATIONS Register tenancy with PRTB Allow the tenant to enjoy peaceful and exclusive occupation Respect tenants privacy Comply with standards re damp, heat, wiring etc Carry out repairs, subject to tenant liability for damage beyond normal wear and tear Insure the dwelling – not tenants property Provide a point of contact, Promptly refund deposits unless rent is owing or there is damage beyond normal wear and tear Reimburse tenants for expenditure on repairs that were appropriate Enforce tenant obligations Not penalise tenants for making complaints or taking action to enforce their rights

6 RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT 2004 – TENANT OBLIGATIONS A tenant is a person who pays a landlord for the use of their accommodation pay the rent and any other specified charges avoid causing or make good any damage beyond normal wear and tear notify the landlord of any repair needed allow access by appointment for repairs to be carried out and routine inspections keep the landlord informed of the identity of the occupants not engage in or allow anti-social behaviour not act, or allow visitors to act in a way that would invalidate the landlord’s insurance not cause the landlord to be in breach of statutory obligations, not alter, improve, assign, sub-let or change the use of the dwelling without written consent from the landlord.

7 RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT RENTS All tenants should have a Rent Book or written contract or lease Rents should be set at market rate Rents can be reviewed once a year, unless substantial work has been done on improvements Tenants must get 28 days notice of new rents Tenants can ask landlord for a rent review if it is more than a year since last rent review Disputes about rent can be referred to PRTB

8 RENT BOOKS Address of the rented dwelling Name and address of the landlord and his agent (if any) Name of the tenant Term of the tenancy Amount of rent, when and how it is to be paid, Details of other payments (e.g. telephone, TV) Amount and purpose of any deposit paid and the conditions under which it will be returned to the tenant Statement of information on basic rights and duties of landlords and tenants Inventory of furnishings and appliances Other information about the tenancy All payments to landlord must be recorded in rent book or other written statement

9 TERMINATION OF TENANCIES Tenancy can be terminated without reason within first 6 months in writing and signed Part 4 tenancies i.e. after 6 months must have specific grounds eg. non-compliance with terms of the agreement, intention to sell, required for own use, non compliance with terms Period of notice required: Less than 6 months 28 days 6 or more months but less than 1 year 35 days 1 year or more but less than 2 years 42 days 2 years or more but less than 3 years 56 days 3 years or more but less than 4 years 84 days 4 or more years 112 days

10 PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES BOARD Established in 2004 to resolve landlord/tenant disputes Disputes about rents, deposits, termination of tenancies etc can be referred to PRTB Landlords must register tenancies with the PRTB Registration lasts for the length of the tenancy up to a maximum of 4 years Can check if a tenancy is registered with PRTB All private tenant can refer complaints, only registered landlords can refer complaints Provide mediation and adjudication Appeals from either can be heard by a Tenancy Tribunal

11 APPLYING FOR SOCIAL HOUSING Local authorities provide housing to those in need of housing and unable to afford it themselves Apply directly to the local authority – for direct provision and housing association Can only apply to 1 local authority at a time Must be resident in LA area or have a connection there i.e. Have lived there for 5 years, employed, in full-time education or receiving disability service in the area Local authority will carry our a housing needs assessment Allocate according to the approved ‘Scheme of Letting Priorities’ which includes the awarding of points on grounds of disability/medical need LA and Housing tenants have a tenancy agreements

12 DIGS OR SHARING WITH LANDLORD Applies to people in digs or sharing with landlord or members of landlords family Not covered by legislation Should agree ground rules in advance ‘Licencee agreement’ i.e. person in accommodation consent/invitation No obligation to provide rent book or rent statement Do not have to ensure accommodation meets minimum standards Notice period is at discretion of landlord Not obliged to register with PRTB Tenant cannot use PRTB dispute resolution procedures Not protected by Equal Status Acts Can take case to Small Claims Court

13 HOUSING SUPPORTS Local authority supports: Adaptation grants Mobility aids grants Rental Accommodation Scheme – applicable after 18 months for people on rent supplement Apply directly to the local authority Department of Social Protection/HSE: Rent supplement – means-tested by community welfare officer Mobility Allowance

14 EQUALITY LEGISLATION Equal Status Act prohibits discrimination on 9 grounds including disability Applies to provision of goods and services including accommodation Direct discrimination, indirect discrimination and discrimination by association Discrimination includes denial of reasonable accommodation – unless costs are greater than a nominal cost Reasonable accommodation means doing all that is reasonable to accommodate the needs of a disabled person by providing special treatment or facilities, if without such this it would be impossible or very difficult for the person to avail of the service.

15 EQUALITY TRIBUNAL In the first instance person should try to sort out the problem directly with the landlord If there appears to be an unresolved case of discrimination can complain to Equality Tribunal Must write to respondent (against whom complaint is being made) within 2 months of incident stating that you will make complaint if unhappy with their response Must refer complaint to Equality Tribunal within 6 months of incident Tribunal will offer mediation or conduct an investigation Formal hearing of complaints and decision is binding

16 USEFUL CONTACTS Citizens Information Service Threshold PRTB Equality Tribunal Galway Centre for Independent Living Disability Support Service NUIG


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