Warning to landlords considering HAP tenants

Discussion in 'Property investment and tenants' rights' started by landlord, 17 Jul 2018.

  1. landlord

    landlord Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: 20 Dec 2018
    Four of my properties now house HAP tenants. Two started off as HAP tenants and two migrated onto the HAP scheme after a few years.
    Firstly the paperwork involved is time consuming, including proof of ownership, proof of bank account, tax compliance certificate etc....
    Rent paid is in arreas not in advance, so it appears you initially miss out on a months rent.
    Soon after the tenants move in a company called inspex.ie start hounding you for an inspection, which is a requirement for the HAP.
    It started out as confirmation that the fire blanket was in place, heat detector and carbon monoxide alarms were fitted and the BER cert was completed.
    This was an additional cost to rectify but it was done without complaint. So I thought that was that.
    No!!!
    Then inspex.ie said they need to see a gas service certificate....I normally get this done every other year as recommended by my Gas man....
    Fine another cost!!!!
    However after a reinspection I get an email from them yesterday with a 5 PAGE list of outstanding items to rectify on an apartment approximately 15 years old, including items as stupid as some vinyl around the kitchen cupboard doors peeling off presenting a health and safety hazard.
    Also issues over,
    bathroom ventilation (all the bathrooms currently have standard vents which is not sufficient),
    Bathroom lights not suitable,
    Issues with window restrictors Etc.....

    I feel like I have been sucked in by the HAP and never would have gone down this route if I’d known how strict they were.
    I know I am going to get abuse from tenants regarding maintaining my property to the highest possible standards, however I feel that getting this information out there will help landlords and potential landlords make an important “commercial” decision about whether to accept HAP tenants.

    and Landlords be warned if you havnt been inspected yet, their is an indpex.ie inspector lurking around the corner ready to pounce!!!!
     
    Last edited: 20 Dec 2018
    argolis and Webster like this.
  2. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    Very interesting. I have tenancies in HAP and I've never been inspected ever. Never heard of inspex. I think now if they come knocking at my door I'll do the important stuff and be slow to do the other stuff. 5 pages, can you post the letter up on here please as that would be very helpful to me and others to know what it is they look for - so I can take account of it when sending in repair men or doing renovations etc.

    What's wrong with the bathroom light?

    Can you post up a picture of the vinyl to give us an idea of what nitpicking is going on - or not. I've no quibble about fire saftety stuff or the gas stuff. And of course some of my tenants took out the batteries in the alarms. I've it in mind to switch to the new types, off the mains as that seems to be a better job and I've done this in one property last year as I had an electrician in to fix some things.
     
  3. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    Just see now that you mentioned BER. That I've so far never had done. And I don't recall anything in the HAP documents about a company calles inspex.

    5 pages on a 15 year old apartment. Wonder how many pages I'd get on one property more than 100 years old. Dread to think.

    Who is Inspex does anyone know?

    The rent in arrears is easily solved by getting the tenant to pay an extra months deposit.
     
  4. Romulan

    Romulan Frequent Poster

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    It is as you say, a commercial decision.

    So if a tenant requested HAP, I'd be inclined to ask HAP to inspect the property first, give me a list of issues, and only then would I decide whether to accept or not.

    I'm presuming that you can do this as a landlord?
     
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  5. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    I just looked again at my HAP documentation. Clause 3 says that they will carry out an inspection within 8 months of the HAP starting. And that one must comply with the 2008 Housing regulations.

    Says the inspection will be carried out by the local authority (ie the city council). Well it would seem to me they're not complying with themselves as they carried out no inspection. I wonder is it because the tenants were moved into HAP rather than being new tenants.

    And I signed an application document certifying I'm tax compliant etc plus that I reach the standards for rented houses which says the LA will carry out an inspection in due course. Never happened. First payment from HAP was in 2016. I remember the lady high up in HAP on the phone with me begging me not to give up now (as the procedure was driving me crazy and I nearly gave up - told them they could house the tenants themselves at one stage - that's how bad it was).

    But I'm delighted now. And they keep 20% tax as I'm non resident so that's very helpful as I don't have to face a big bill from revenue.
     
  6. T McGibney

    T McGibney Frequent Poster

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    If you've appointed a Collection Agent and duly registered them with Revenue, the council are exceeding their legal powers in so doing.
     
  7. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    Tommy I believe you are correct but not on the basis of what you wrote. I don't have my agent (relations) registered with revenue as the rent comes to me in 3 ways, DD, Hap payments and cash rent lodged to the one (rental) account. So on that ground I fail.

    But the legality of how the LA/HAP can deduct the 20% is unclear to me. In their contract they state that non residents landlords must have their rental income deducted by 20% by the tenant. But my tenants are not the LA/HAB. And the tenants themselves don't get the HAB payment so they can't possible deduct it. Instead HAB has decided to deduct it themselves - but I think that is illegal.

    Not that it bothers me as I said.
     
  8. Sue Ellen

    Sue Ellen Moderator.

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    Obviously I'm not qualified like your Gas man but would have to disagree with him on every two years servicing. Every year is the standard. What you save on service fee you will lose out on in extra fuel consumption. Its also safer for your tenants to have it checked out each year even if you do have carbon monoxide alarms.
     
  9. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: 19 Jul 2018
    I see from my IPOA newletter that under the Equal Status Acts one can no discriminate on the usual ground, but also a new ground

    - the housing assistance ground - and only as regards accommodation

    That sounds like HAP to me.
     
    Last edited: 19 Jul 2018
  10. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

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    Just wondering Bronte about those alarms direct from the mains as I've them fitted in properties and lo and behold they have needed batteries fitted when going off after about 18 months. Couldn't believe it, so when I saw your piece about fitting them I thought i'd put this here. Got the work done by an electrician I use a lot, genuine pro and haven't had a chat with him yet. Is this the usual thing? By the way i'm another who has never had an inspection and have been told by "insiders" that the council are just delighted that landlords (hate that title) are providing the service of letting to the tenants.
     
  11. elcato

    elcato Moderator

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    Yes. The battery is a secondary power in case the electrics blow because of fire. I wouldn't bother getting mains done for this reason.
     
  12. Palerider

    Palerider Frequent Poster

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    Some of these alarms are wired back to the house alarm and when triggered the house alarm can sound but the siren is different to the burglar alarm siren to indicate a fire.

    Secondary battery back up to the mains is a good idea, easy to change yourself, no need for an electrician.
     
  13. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    I remember reading somewhere recently that the new regulations compel us to have the mains ones. I've it down as a big job for this year. And I think they also have a battery solely as back up.

    But I'm not sure what noproblem means about the battery fitted after 18 months. In my case when inspecting last year I noticed my battery only smoke alarms were hanging off the ceiling or open - batteries removed as they had gone off. I don't understand tenants doing this and leaving it like this. So I'm moving to the mains and getting a guy in to make sure I comply with all the latest regulations.
     
  14. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

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    In my case, I had the alarms wired to the mains but they also had a battery fitted. The battery ran its life after 18 months and started "squealing" every few minutes that required a new battery. Hope that makes it easier for you to understand Bronte. In other words, I found it irritating and annoying and had no idea the mains alarm also had a battery fitted.
     
  15. elcato

    elcato Moderator

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    Bronte - You might consider 10 year batteryless fire alarms, Double the price of a normal one but solves the squealing battery is dead problem for 10 years.
     
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  16. cremeegg

    cremeegg Frequent Poster

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    I thought I could do this. However it seems that the council can come and inspect at anytime after the lease starts and produce a new list.

    I had an inspection in January, a council employee not a third party. He mentioned some very minor details in conversation at the time, vinyl on kitchen was one. However its now July and no sign of a report. I will worry about it when it comes.
     
  17. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

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    A lot of these so called inspectors just go around and feel they haven't the job done unless they have a list of "Have to do's". Most of the councils know full well the job landlords are doing which they themselves should be doing.
     
  18. Galwayman123

    Galwayman123 New Member

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    I can only say that this is 100 % correct what landlord says. I had very similar experience. I am seriously considering getting out of the rental market. I did up the house and then had an inspection after HAP. The list was endless. The person was extremely picky. He even had a problem with the garden wall and some hedging that was not disposed from the tenants.
    It will cost me a lot of money to have the house HAP ready. (It is a beautiful nice house, with new heating etc, all new floors etc.) It is no suprise that landlords are running away from the rental market. It does not make any sense that they make it so hard for landlords because of the shortage and all the homeless people. However it seems to be not only that HAP tenancies are inspected. There is so much red tape nowadays. Normal tenancies are also inspected to the same standards. After paying all my taxes and renovation costs there is no money left in the letting. I wish the politicians would cop on. We will have a situation where more and more people are left homeless because landlords are getting scared and are leaving the market.
     
  19. galway_blow_in

    galway_blow_in Frequent Poster

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    I haven't disclosed it to the forum but I bought a cheap townhouse in Limerick at the beginning of the year, I've leased it to the local authority for ten years and the rent is 850 per month, had to buy all new furniture and appliances as well as some electrical upgrades cost 83 k all in with no mortgage.

    I actually found the inspection OK, maybe I was lucky but the local authority engineer was very reasonable, one area I disagreed with strongly however was around ventilation, I fitted window trickle vents but they wouldn't accept them so I had to fit two slate vents on the roof and pipe down through attic as walls are stone so no way waa I drilling there, even the roofer who did the job told me damp cold air coming in will cause condensation in the Duct pipe and eventually create problems in the attic.

    The problem with these inspections are they crudely use a one size fits all approach and old houses just can't meet modern day standards to an identical level.

    Ps

    I don't even know who lives in the house, my tenant is the council, not the Hap scheme but rental standards are the same I'm told.
     
  20. Sconeandjam

    Sconeandjam Registered User

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    Last edited: 19 Dec 2018
    I think you are on something like RAS and they could have put it under the HAP scheme.

    I heard there is a 22 page document that is used to inspect the house under HAP and the inspector basically ticks off the list. Any house not built before 2016 will fail the inspection.
    Do the council want their tenants housed or not?

    If you put extra vents in the tenant will fill with socks and clothing. The landlords are doing the council a favour housing the tenant and they have huge costs just to put to 2016 building code. The tenant will have to leave while changes are being made and in that case the tenant will not get back in.
     
    Last edited: 19 Dec 2018