iCare Housing is a non-profit Approved Housing Association which has been established with one purpose – and that is to buy family homes of people in mortgage arrears, to enable them to stay in their homes. We use the Mortgage to Rent Scheme to do this.
Mortgage to Rent is a Government Initiative to help homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes due to mortgage arrears. Under the Mortgage to Rent Scheme, you will voluntarily surrender ownership of your home to your lender. An Approved Housing Association, such as iCare Housing, will buy your home from your lender and become your landlord. You will no longer own your home but you will continue to live in it as a tenant of iCare. You will pay an income-related rent set by your Local Authority. On average this is € 50 per week, with the balance subsidised by the Local Authority.
If you are in mortgage arrears and eligible for social housing, Mortgage to Rent may be an option for you. Appendix 1 provides the qualification criteria for Mortgage to Rent. Contact the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, or your debt advisor, and they will guide you through the process.
The Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation is a registered charity which has negotiated deals with banks on behalf of 8,000 mortgage holders, 90% of whom have stayed in their family homes. IMHO will act as an intermediary between you, the bank and iCare. Many don’t want to deal directly with the bank. The IMHO allows for an independent third party to take away that stress by working for free on your behalf.
Nearly all banks, with the exception of Bank of Ireland, have agreed to write off residual debit, for those eligible for Mortgage to Rent.
iCare wishes to create a secure environment for our tenants. Many tenants stay in their Housing Association home for their entire lives, in line with the terms of their tenancy agreement. You will enter into a Tenancy Agreement with iCare. The term of this agreement will vary, but it will be in the region of 25 years.
When your tenancy agreement ends, iCare will endeavour to enter into a further tenancy agreement with you, subject to qualifying for Social Housing.
iCare will own the house.
This is dealt with on a case by case basis. Please speak to us and we will advise on your circumstances.
Yes, you can buy your home back from iCare at any time during your lease. We will agree a price with you.
Yes, however iCare puts a charge against the property which means that if you subsequently sell the property onward (within 10 years of buying it from iCare), you will have an obligation to pay iCare a percentage of difference between the price you purchased it from iCare and its market value on that date.
The charge is based on the difference between price you bought the house back from iCare for and the market value of the house when you bought it back from iCare. This amount diminishes by 10% each year after you buy the house back from iCare.
- The rent that you pay as a Tenant is an income-based affordable rent, called a ‘Differential Rent’. It is worked out according to your household income and is always aimed at being affordable. The rent is assessed every year to take account of changes in your income. If your income reduces, your rent may be reduced. Similarly, if your income increases, your rent may be increased.
- The differential rent is based on the Differential Rent Scheme in your Local Authority. iCare will calculate this rent based on the Local Authority Scheme. You will pay your rent to iCare, not the Local Authority.
Rent can be paid by the following methods:
- Standing Order or Direct Debit (set up from your bank account)
- Household Budget (if you receive Social Welfare Benefits)
- Electronic transfer (using banking online)
- Post Office Swipe card, known as Billpay (this can be used at the post office or any shop with a PostPoint facility)
Most Local Authorities have a maximum and a minimum rent which can be charged by a Housing Body. Check with your Local Authority.
There are certain circumstances under which the following family members can take over the tenancy in the event of the tenant’s death: a spouse or civil partner, a cohabitee who has occupied the dwelling for a least 6 months ending on the tenant’s death, a child, stepchild, foster or adopted child of the tenant, or a parent of the tenant. These circumstances are: (1) they are included in the list of family members above, (2) they have lived in the property for at least 6 months ending at the tenant’s death, (3) are over 18 and (4) they qualify for social housing in their own right.
If the tenancy cannot be taken over as outlined in the previous question, the property would revert to iCare, and would be used for other social housing need in the area.
No, only the tenant can buy back the property.
The homeowner on the title who has surrendered the property under the MTR Scheme becomes the tenant. In cases of joint ownership, both homeowners become the tenants of the property. All other household members are defined as occupants. An occupant of the property can become a tenant if the circumstances outlined in Question 17 apply. Children under 18 are occupants and cannot be tenants.
As a general rule, you as Tenant are responsible for internal repairs and garden maintenance. iCare is responsible for structural repairs.
For internal decoration such as painting or putting up shelves, tenants do not require prior approval from iCare but do have to make good any alterations if they leave the property. iCare must give permission if a tenant wishes to carry out any internal/external structural changes to the property including any electrical/plumbing/heating changes that alter the fabric of the property. With this a tenant will need to produce the full specification of any works they wish to carry out including the Insurance/Health & Safety statements of the contractor carrying out the work.
Not currently, however this issue affects a lot of borrowers, and we are working to resolve this matter currently. Please talk to us if this affects you.
To qualify for the Mortgage to Rent Scheme, your mortgage, property and household must meet the criteria below.
You must be unable to make the repayments on your Mortgage Loan and your lender must have decided that this situation is unlikely to change in the future.
You must be engaging with your lender to try to find a solution to your situation.
Your property must be in negative equity; however, if your property is in positive equity, it may be considered on a case-by-case basis,
You must not own any other property.
You must be living in a property with a value no more than €365,000 for a house and €310,000 for an apartment or townhouse in the areas of Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Wicklow, Louth, Cork and Galway, and €280,000 for a house and €215,000 for an apartment or townhouse in the rest of the country. Properties in excess of these values may be assessed on a case by case basis.
You must be eligible for Social Housing Support in the local authority in whose area the house is located.
Your net household income must not exceed certain thresholds. Please contact us to discuss in more detail.
You cannot have capital assets worth in excess of €20,000.