Focus Housing Association - Tenants: Frequently asked questions
You can find answers to common questions about your tenancy with Focus Housing Association below. For anything not included below, please consult our Tenant Handbook, or contact your Property Officer.
How do I pay my rent?
Rent for Focus Ireland tenants is charged on a weekly basis and in advance on the Monday of each week. There are several ways to pay your rent:
An Post Household Budget Scheme
If you receive your social welfare payment at the post office, you must sign up to Household Budget. This will take your rent at source each week and forward it to Focus Housing Association directly.
You can set up a weekly Standing Order and pay your rent through your bank account directly to Focus Housing.
You can pay your rent by electronic transfer using online banking.
You may receive a Focus Housing Association rent card. This allows you to pay your rent in any post office or where there is a pay-point terminal.
Your rent payment method is agreed when you sign your tenancy. Further information on Rent can be found on pgs. 22-25 of the Tenant Handbook.
How is my rent calculated?
At Focus, depending on the Local Authority, we use several models to ensure that all rents are calculated fairly based on household income.
Differential Rental Scheme
This is the most common way we calculate rent and it is designed so that the weekly rent charged on a property will be a fair one relative to the household income. It ensures that the rent charged is based on a tenant’s ability to pay, so if person’s income is low, their rent will be low. Furthermore, if your income increases or decreases, your rent will also be adjusted accordingly. The rents that we charge tenants are reviewed annually and are set according to the relevant Local Authority. Local Authorities differ in how this is calculated.
Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS) Rent
CAS properties are charged economic rents, and these are rents that are fair, reasonable and justifiable and take into account the cost to Focus in providing the accommodation, including the ongoing management and maintenance of the homes.
CAS properties are funded by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and are designed for people on low income, disabled or homeless. Those assigned a CAS property should be entitled to rent supplement as the properties are designed for those on low income, those with a disability or those that were formerly homeless.
How do I ask for a repair?
If you are in need of a repair or maintenance upgrades to your home, please contact your Property Management Officer directly by email or phone. Please note that Focus Housing Association is responsible for:
- Repairs to the structure of the building
- Drains, gutters and external pipes
- Major electrical, sanitation and plumbing issues
Further information on Maintenance and Repairs can be found on pgs. 30-33 of the Tenant Handbook.
How do I make a complaint?
If you are a member of the public and wish to make a complaint of any nature, please contact the relevant Focus Ireland office in your region and your issue will be directed appropriately.
Focus Ireland offices and contact information can be found here.
If you are a tenant, you can make an informal complaint to a member of staff in person, in writing, by phone or by email. To make a formal complaint, please download our Complaints Form here and follow the necessary steps.
Further information on Complaints and Appeals can be found on pgs. 42-45 of the Tenant Handbook.
If you have exhausted all internal options with Focus Ireland and are still not satisfied, you can contact the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) or other charities, such as Threshold, which may be able to support you.
What do I do if I am in arrears?
If you are in financial difficulty and cannot pay your rent, please contact your Property Management Officer or Housing Support Worker as soon as possible.
If you do not pay your rent, and do not engage with Focus Housing Association to arrange a payment plan to manage your rent arrears, you are in danger of losing your home. It is vitally important you engage with us from as early as possible.
Further information on Rent is available on pgs. 22-25 of the Tenant Handbook.
What do I do if my household circumstances have changed?
If your household circumstances have changed, i.e. your income has gone up or down, or you have an additional child or person living with you, please contact your Property Management Officer or Housing Support Worker.
Further information on this is available on pg. 25 of your Tenant Handbook.
Where can I find my ‘Tenant Key’?
Your Tenant Key is a unique identification number which can be found at the top of your Rent Statement or on your Rent Card.