In January 2012 the Department of Social Protection (DSP) reduced the maximum level of rent that it will accept for Rent Supplement purposes. Cecilia Smith, Development Manager at County Cavan Citizens Information Service explains how these changes may affect you.
Question: I am getting a One-Parent Family Payment and my Rent Supplement claim is being reviewed. My current rent is over the new limit but I am tied into a lease for another 4 months. Will I be asked to move out of my home?
Answer: In January 2012 the Department of Social Protection (DSP) reduced the maximum level of rent that it will accept for Rent Supplement purposes. The reduced rent limits applied to new claimants immediately. They are being applied to existing claimants when their claims are reviewed or if they move to new accommodation (see citizensinformation.ie for the limits, which vary from area to area.)
In your situation the DSP will ask you to re-negotiate your rent with your landlord. If the landlord insists that the terms of the current lease are not negotiable and does not reduce the rent to the new limits, the DSP representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer or CWO) will discuss your options with you. These may include seeking other accommodation. If this occurs you will continue to be paid Rent Supplement for a reasonable period of time while you secure new accommodation.
In some cases Rent Supplement can be paid at the discretion of the DSP representative where the rent is over the relevant limit. These situations include the following:
- If you or a member of your household has special housing needs (for example, a person with a disability in specially adapted accommodation.)
- If you will be able to pay the rent yourself within a short period, for example, if you are taking up employment. In this case Rent Supplement at a higher rate can be paid for a short period of 6-8 weeks.
Further information is available from County Cavan Citizens Information Centre. County Cavan Citizens Information Service provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 076 10 75 200, Email: email@example.com, Townhall Place, Townhall St, Cavan, County Cavan.