The amount of rent to be paid by tenants is shown on their rent assessment form, which is issued after each rent reassessment has been completed.
There are several ways for tenants to pay rent. The preferred payment method is by Standing Order, Household Budget, and Electronic Transfer.
Circle VHA charges rents on a weekly basis, however the frequency of rent charges and payments can be changed, on request, to a fortnightly or monthly basis. To change rent payments frequency, please contact the relevant Tenancy Services Officer. To change the frequency, the tenant’s rent account must not be in arrears and all payments must be made in advance.
Circle VHA keeps a record of all tenant payments. We are legally obliged to send tenants a quarterly statement, which shows what rent is being charged and what has been paid. Tenants can also request a statement at any time by contacting the relevant Tenancy Services Officer or the Circle VHA office by phone or through our query form.
It is the responsibility of the tenant to monitor their rent payments. Tenants are asked to keep any receipts they are given and to check bank statements and / or lodgment book.
Circle VHA tenants are legally obliged to pay rent. The income received through rent payment is used to secure the future repair needs and the ongoing management of dwellings and tenancy management issues.
The rent tenants pay is determined by the housing scheme under which the unit has been made available to the resident and the local authority in which the unit is located. These are termed “differential rent policies”.
For example, where Circle VHA owns a property under the Capital Loan Subsidy Scheme, the Circle VHA differential rent policy applies. Alternatively, where Circle VHA manages a property on behalf of Dublin City Council, the Dublin City Council differential rent policy applies. The following is a brief overview of the various scheme types, alongside the differential rent policy applied in each instance.
See Circle VHA Differential Rent Scheme 2016 below.
On the 9th of May 2016 the Board of Circle VHA adopted the following change in the policy around how rents would be calculated for Circle VHA tenants under the Capital Loan and Subsidy scheme and for any subsequent scheme where Circle VHA holds the authority to choose the basis of differential rent.
1 Commencement Date
This Scheme applies with effect from 9th of May 2016 for all new completed and vouched confidential income forms provided to the association.
2 Net Household Income
Net household income is the total income of all earners in the household. It is considered in two categories. Income of the Principal Earner(s) refers to the income of a tenants and his or her spouse where they are joint tenants. In situations where there is a tenant and an authorised occupant, the person with the highest income residing in that property will be declared the Principal Earner and their income will be assessed accordingly for rent. Income of the subsidiary earner(s) refers to income of all other earners in the household.
3 Method of Calculation of Rent
Rent is calculated in the first instance based on the total Principal Earner(s) income. The aggregated assessable incomes of the Principal Earner(s) are reduced by a non-assessable allowance of €102.00 per week. Rent is calculated as 18% of the balance remaining.
Basic rent in the amount of €12.00 per week is then added to this amount to get “rent before allowance for children”. This amount is then further reduced by the amount of €1.27 per week for each dependent child residing in the property.
The remaining amount is the portion of rent due based on the principal earner(s) income. Please note the calculated amount cannot be in excess of 15% of the aggregated incomes of the principal earner(s).
Rent due from subsidiary earners is then included. Assessable income for each Subsidiary Earner is reduced by a non-assessable allowance of €102.00 per week, the assessable income remaining is divided by €1.27 and multiplied by €0.23 to give the portion of rent due in respect of each Subsidiary Earner. Each Subsidiary Earner will not be charged more than €30 per week.
Licence charges are charged on a flat rate of €30 per licence holder.
4 Minimum Rents
The minimum rent applicable is €25.00 per week.
5 Income included in rent assessment
Income from the following sources is assessed in full for rent purposes:
(a) Income from employment, including self-employment.
(b) All social insurance and social assistance payments, allowances and pensions, health board allowances and FAS training allowances.
(c) Income from any pensions or other sources not included at (a) or (b) above.
(d) Spouse/Partner Maintenance payments from another person.
(e) Family Income Supplement.
5.1 Income of an employed person
The assessable income of an employed person is, in general, the net average weekly wage ie Employee Pay Related Social Insurance contributions (where payable) and any income tax payable on such income are excluded.
Net overtime payments, shift allowances, bonuses, commission, etc., are included in the calculation of rent.
5.2 Income of a self-employed person
In the case of self-employed persons, income will be determined on the basis of the submission of satisfactory documentary evidence of income.
5.3 Dependent Children
Rent due will be reduced by €1.27 per dependent child. A dependent child is a person under 18 years that is not in receipt of any income, or who being under 23 years, is attending a full time course of education and is wholly or mainly maintained by household.
6 Income excluded from rent assessment
Income from the following sources is disregarded for rent purposes:
(a) Child Benefit, Orphans Allowances, Orphans Pensions payable under the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act of 1981 and any other Social Welfare Allowances payable to children under 18.
(b) Scholarships, Higher Education Grants.
(c) Allowances payable for fostering children/carers allowance for children.
(d) Dietary and mobility allowances paid by the Health Board.
(e) Child Maintenance Received
(f) Fuel and travel allowances payable for Community Employment or Job Initiative schemes.
(f) Heating/Fuel Allowance.
7 Annual Rent Review
Circle VHA will undertake an annual rent review in Quarter 2 of each calendar year with rents changing from the first Monday in May of the given year. Circle VHA will request that each tenant gives up-to-date information as to the make-up and income levels of each household. Full and accurate responses to this request are a requirement of the tenancy of each rented dwelling.
In cases where tenants do not reply to the review request by the dates given, a penalty rent of €25.00 per week will be applied.
8 Changes in Income or Household Circumstances
It is the responsibility of the tenant to inform Circle VHA immediately of any changes in circumstance that may have an effect on their weekly rental charge.
It should be noted that where Circle VHA specifically requests the return of particular income details, it reserves the right in the event of failure on the part of a tenant to supply that information to assume an income for the purposes of rent assessment.
Where a tenant wishes to include a person on their rent account, the tenant is obliged to complete an inclusion on rent form. Under no circumstances will anyone be allowed to move into a Circle VHA dwelling unless approval is given by Circle VHA in writing to the tenant. The revised rent will be assessed on the basis of this scheme.
Where a weekly debit calculated in accordance with the Scheme may give rise to undue hardship, Circle VHA may amend the rent if deemed appropriate.
See: Local Authority Differential Rent Policies below.
Tenants are breaking a condition of their tenancy agreement if they miss a payment or pay rent late. Tenants who miss a payment should contact the Circle VHA office or the relevant Income Management Officer to arrange a repayment. Tenants who are finding it hard to pay their rent or to pay arrears are asked to contact the relevant housing officer to arrange a repayment plan.
If a tenant fails to pay their rent and rent arrears arise, Circle VHA will then be compelled to issue a formal warning over the breach of a basic tenancy condition. Continued non-rent payment will eventually lead to a case being taken to the Residential Tenancies Board for resolution and adjudication. This can lead to the property being repossessed.
In some schemes that Circle VHA manages for a local authority one month’s rent deposit for the rental unit is required. Circle VHA will inform tenants of this and arrange how the deposit is to be paid.