Citizens Information Service gets positive result for people suffering discrimination by landlord who refused Housing Assistance Payment (HAP)

August 2017

The Citizens Information Board (CIB) welcomes the decision of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) released, today, where tenants in three joined cases succeeded with their claims of discrimination by a landlord and were awarded compensation. The Citizens Information Service (CIS) has already dealt with over 9,000 HAP related queries in the first six months of this year.

In the first decision of its kind, tenants, supported by the Citizens Information Service (CIS) and the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) have been successful in challenging their landlord’s refusal to accept a Housing Assistance Payment from a Local Authority. The three decisions from the WRC found cases of direct discrimination against the same landlord for repeated refusals to participate in the HAP Scheme for existing tenants and awarded compensation of up to €14,977 in each case.

The tenants sought support from their local Citizens Information Service as they were experiencing financial hardship meeting rental costs. The tenants met the eligibility criteria to have their rent subsidised by the Local Authority under the HAP scheme. However, the landlord repeatedly refused to complete the required paperwork and accept the payments. The CIS supported tenants to take complaints to the WRC under the Equal Status Acts and subsequently worked with FLAC who provided the tenants with full legal representation.

Michael Owens, Advocacy Support Worker with the CIS said: "Citizens Information wish to thank the tenants for their strength, patience and endurance during the past year, and to extend our gratitude to FLAC for their invaluable support in representing the clients at adjudication."

"We recommend that members of the public contact their local Citizens Information Service for assistance if they are experiencing similar difficulties in accessing entitlement to the HAP Scheme."

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