asked the Minister for Social Welfare if his Department request proof that landlords have complied with regulations regarding minimum standards of accommodation before paying rent allowances under the Housing (Private Rented Dwellings) Act, 1982; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Written Answers. - Rent Allowance.
My Department pay rent allowances to tenants of dwellings which were subject to rent control. The allowances are paid in order to prevent hardship arising because of rent increases following the ending of rent control. The conditions for receipt of a rent allowance under the relevant legislation require that the rent and the terms of the tenancy must be fixed by the District Court or by the Rent Tribunal and the tenancy and particulars of the new rent must be registered with the local housing authority. In fixing the rent, the court or tribunal are required to have regard to the personal circumstances of both landlord and tenant as well as to the nature, character and location of the dwelling and the other terms of the tenancy.
Once the rent has been determined in this way the only function which my Department have is to pay a rent allowance, calculated in accordance with the statutory regulations, having regard to the amount of the rent fixed and the tenant's means.