Thursday, 19 September 2019

Questions (258)

Darragh O'Brien


258. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to bring forward legislation to allow councils to conduct antisocial behaviour checks on HAP tenants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38203/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

In order for a household to qualify for the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme, the household must first be assessed as eligible for social housing support by their local authority. Any household assessed as eligible for social housing is immediately eligible for HAP. 

The application form for social housing support, prescribed by the Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011, requires applicants to provide details of any convictions under a number of specified statutes relating to anti-social behaviour and public order offences.

In respect of the HAP scheme, under section 45(6) of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014, local authorities may refuse to provide, or cease providing, housing assistance in respect of a qualified household where the local authority considers that any household member is or has been engaged in anti-social behaviour.

Similarly, under this section, the local authority may also refuse to permit a person who proposes to take up or resume residence or enter or be in a dwelling the subject of housing assistance where the local authority considers that the person is or has been engaged in anti-social behaviour.

Under HAP, a tenant sources their own accommodation in the private rented market. The tenancy agreement is between the tenant and the landlord and is governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (as amended). The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) was established as an independent statutory body under the Act to operate a national tenancy registration system and to facilitate the resolution of disputes between landlords and tenants.