If you are finding it difficult to pay your rent, you could be entitled to rent supplement. Ireland’s Rent Supplement scheme is a social welfare benefit that helps people to cover the cost of their rent.
What is Rent Supplement?
Rent supplement is an income supplement for people who are unable to cover the cost of their rent with their own income. It is a short-term payment for people in the private rented sector.
Who is entitled to Rent Supplement?
You may be eligible for Rent Supplement if you have been:
- Living in accommodation for homeless people for the past six months
- Privately renting accommodation
- Living in an Irish institution – prison, hospital etc
- Assessed by a local authority as ‘in need of social housing’
- You have been a victim of domestic violence and you have been referred by TUSLA, the Gardaí, or the HSE
You are not eligible if you:
- Are full-time employed
- Are living in the family home
- Are in full-time education (except if you are involved in the Back To Education Programme, or a Momentum programme)
- Have refused a second offer of accommodation made by your local authority
- Have been excluded from social housing because of anti-social behaviour
- Are married to or living with a partner who works full-time
Rent Supplement and COVID-19
New rules were introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic to support people struggling to pay their rent because of the pandemic. These rules are linked to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), and they will stay in place for as long as the PUP scheme is in place. After this point, your Rent Supplement will be assessed based on the existing rules (above).
You can qualify for rent supplement if:
- If you or your partner are working more than 30 hours per week and you have had a reduction in your income from work due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- You have been in your current tenancy for more than 4 weeks
- You would be able to pay your rent in full if it wasn’t for the COVID-19 pandemic
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or you are forced to self-isolate because you are suspected to have COVID-19, your Rent Supplement application will be processed and paid immediately.
How much is Rent Supplement in Ireland?
Each county in Ireland has a set maximum rent level and you will not receive payment for an accommodation that charges more than the maximum rent rate in your county. To receive the rent supplement, you must still contribute something to the rent. The minimum contribution for a single person is €30 per week. A couple’s expected minimum contribution is €40 per week.
Remember, if you are really struggling for money, you can apply for a number of other supplements, benefits and allowances from the Government such as Back to Education Allowance, Dental Benefit, Child Benefit. You can find more information on other supports on Citizens Information.
Read more about what to do if you cannot pay your rent.
How do I apply for Rent Supplement?
To apply for Rent Supplement, you should contact the Department of Social Protection’s representative at your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office. You will be asked to fill out this application form for Rent Supplement (pdf) and part of it will need to be filled in by your landlord.
Find out more about applying for Rent Supplement from Citizen’s Information.
Need more information?
We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.