Financial support is needed to support landlords who have seen their Housing Assisting Payment (HAP ) stopped because their tenants are no longer paying rent contribution to the Galway County Council, that is according Cllr Noel Thomas.
The Fianna Fáil councillor whose motion for the council to contact the Department of Housing to seek financial support for these landlords was passed at the local authority's plenary meeting at GMIT on Friday, says there are some landlords who are owed thousands in rent and the situation could lead to landlords no longer accepting HAP tenants.
Cllr Thomas said; "It is vital that some support is put in place as some landlords are now owed thousands of euros in rent. If the tenant stops their rent contribution then the HAP payments to the landlord are stopped. Then, if the tenant refuses to pay rent and refuses to leave the house the only avenue is through the RTB [Residential Tenancies Board] and this can take months, and now because of the current crisis, the landlords cannot evict the tenant either and there are also big delays with the RTB.
"One particular landlord who has been in touch with me has now gone through eight months without rent and could possibly be another six to nine months without rent before their situation is sorted out. This is a totally unacceptable loss for a landlord especially in the case where the landlord just has one property to rent and is still paying a mortgage on that property also.
"This is a serious flaw in the HAP system and something need to be done about it. Lots of landlords are no longer accepting HAP tenants and if these sort of issues continue then there will be no landlords accepting HAP tenants into the future."