Thursday, 30 May 2013

Questions (182)

Robert Dowds


182. Deputy Robert Dowds asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if there is a mechanism for local authorities to collect property tax from council tenants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26353/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

In accordance with section 58 of the Housing Act 1966, housing authorities are responsible for determining the rents of their dwellings, subject to complying with broad principles laid down by my Department, notably that the rent payable should be related to income and that low-income households should pay a lower proportion of income in rent. Within these parameters, it is a matter for housing authorities, as an integral part of their housing management functions, to ensure that their rental income reflects, as far as practicable, the cost of managing and maintaining their housing stock.

The current arrangements for determining local authority rents will be substantially replaced on the coming into force of section 31 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, which predates, and does not refer to, the Local Property Tax legislation. On enactment of the Housing (Amendment) Bill 2013 currently before the House, I will be arranging to make regulations under section 31 re-affirming the principle that rents should be related to household income and composition, and reflecting the requirement that housing authorities should set rent levels that take account, as far as practicable, of the cost of providing works and services to, and managing and maintaining, their rented accommodation.