- Single people with gross earnings up to €50,000 and couples up to €75,000 gross, can get a Home Loan confined to first time buyers, of up to 90% of a home (new and second hand) costing up to €250,000 provided you have been refused by two lenders. The interest rate including Mortgage Protection is 3.55% on a 30 year loan. It costs about €4.70 per month per €1,000 borrowed and you must be able to afford the payments. (See rebuildingirelandhomeloan.ie).
- On selected sites there will be a reservation of at least 30% of homes for Affordable Purchase, with a discount on the site cost and an option of shared purchase with the Council (up to 40% ownership) or Cost Rental tenancies rented at a discount from market rents. Advertisements will be placed on a site by site basis. No waiting lists will be maintained. Selection will be based on a series of tests.
- Help to Buy allows a person buying a new home before the end of 2021 claim a refund of the income tax and dirt tax which they paid in the past 4 years up to a maximum of €30,000 or 10% of the value of the home. There is no means test on this scheme, but the house price cannot exceed €500,000
- Debt Problems: If you are having difficulty keeping up with payments it is vital that you immediately inform those whom you owe (utilities, banks, etc.) and seek advice. Important services include: Abhaile offers a dedicated adviser, free financial advice, free legal advice (Helpline 076 1072000) on Mortgage difficulties and Insolvency Service of Ireland helps people to reach debt settlements (contact: email@example.com, 076 106 4200).
- Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is available to anyone who is eligible for Social Housing through the local authority [i.e. is in need of housing, and whose household after tax income does not exceed €35,000 (Single) plus allowance of €875 for each child and €1,750 for each additional adult up a maximum of €42,000]. If approved the Council will pay the rent to a landlord whom you source. There is a ceiling on eligible rents in Limerick – Single (sharing) €270; Couple/Single Parent (+1) €650, Couple/Single Parent (+3) €750. If a tenancy cannot be found within this ceiling, flexibility up to 20% may be provided on a case by case basis. Up to 50% higher rent ceiling applies if a family is homeless; or at risk of becoming homeless. As a tenant you pay a rent contribution to the Council.
- Tenancy Rights: A number of improvements in tenancy rights have been introduced:
- The standard lease extended to 6 years
- The Notice Period from a landlord extended to 120 days (at least one year tenancy) 196 days (at least 3 years)
- The grounds for ending a tenancy have been tightened and Notice of Termination for non payment of rent must be sent to RTB
- For tenants who notify the RTB they are in difficulty in rent payment due to Covid, there can be no eviction and no rent increase before 11 Jan 2021.
- Warmer Homes: Free Home Insulation Scheme for owners of homes built before 2006 is available to persons who are eligible for Fuel Allowance, and to persons on Jobseeker’s Allowance for over 6 months with children under 7, or on Working Family Payment, One Parent Family Allowance, Carers Allowance or Domiciliary Care Allowance. In some cases replacement of single glazing windows or heating upgrades can be considered.
- Better Energy Home Scheme (tel: 1850 927 000) provides grants to homeowners for homes built before 2006: insulation of attic (€400), cavity wall (€400), internal wall (€2,400 (detached), €2,200 (semi or end-of-terrace), €1,600 (apartment or mid-terrace), external wall (€6,000 (detached), €4,500 (semi or end-of-terrace), €2,750 (apartment or mid-terrace); heating controls (€700); solar water heating (€1,200), heat pump (air to air €600, other €350) to qualify the Heat Loss Indicator must be less than 2.3W/sq. metre. Along with the insulation works, you can get a grant of €50 for the required Building Energy Rating (BER). Grants will typically cover 20-30% of the full cost. Energy savings of up to 50% can be achieved. For external insulation, you should first apply to your local authority for a Declaration of Exemption from the need for planning permission (cost €80).
- A Solar PV Electricity Grant is available for pre-2011 houses. Grant is €900 per kWp up to a max of 2 kWp or for Larger systems up to 4 kWp using a battery can get up to €3,000 grant.
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