Recipients of jobseekers allowance and other social welfare payments are finding it increasingly difficult to access rented accommodation in Dublin.
Landlords in the capital are extremely reluctant to rent to people receiving social welfare payments with an overwhelming number on daft.ie and other rental sites specifically stating that they will not accept those applicants.
“Finding rented accommodation in Dublin is a nightmare if you’re on the dole” said Cathy, 28, who has been receiving JSA since graduating earlier this year. In the current economy all kinds of people are on the dole, but landlords still have this idea that you must be unemployable or unreliable in some way”.
This week daft.ie had no listings for rented accommodation open to people receiving social welfare. Jobseekers allowance is currently €188 per week which means rent supplement is a necessity for those unable to live with family or friends.
“The main reason I suspect for rent allowance not being accepted by landlords in general is because the Social Welfare pay in arrears whereas a professional tenant pays a month rent and deposit up front,” said Kevin Delappe of Brock Delappe Estate Agents.
“It is also commonplace for the Social Welfare to stop the rent mid tenancy as the Social Welfare tenant has not filled out a certain form for their payments. This in turn forces the land into further arrears and susceptible to repossession by banks.”
Several landlords currently renting property on daft.ie were reluctant to go on the record as to why they didn’t wish to have rent allowance tenants.
“Landlords have the right to choose who they rent to – I don’t want to exclude groups of people but it’s too much hassle. I had [rented to] people on welfare before and never will again. I was left getting less rent after the council cut what the people could claim, no consultation, no appeal, nothing” said one landlord who wished to remain anonymous, advertising on daft.ie this week.
At present 83,000 Social Welfare recipients receive a total of €400m in Rent Supplement.