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Frequently Asked Questions

My Local Authority Home Loan

What is the maximum value of the property I can purchase or self-build?

The maximum market value of the property to be purchased is:

  • €360,000 in Dublin, Kildare or Wicklow, or
  • €330,000 in Cork, Galway, Louth or Meath, or
  • €300,000 in Clare, Kilkenny, Limerick, Waterford, Westmeath or Wexford, or
  • €275,000 in Carlow, Cavan, Donegal, Kerry, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo or Tipperary.

What is the maximum amount I can borrow?

The maximum amount you can borrow depends on where you intend to live.  The maximum loan amount you can borrow for property purchased or self-built is:

  • €324,000 in Dublin, Kildare or Wicklow, or

  • €297,000 in Cork, Galway, Louth or Meath, or

  • €270,000 in Clare, Kilkenny, Limerick, Waterford, Westmeath or Wexford, or

  • €247,500 in Carlow, Cavan, Donegal, Kerry, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo or Tipperary.

What is the maximum loan to value I can borrow?

The maximum loan to value you can borrow is 90% of the market value of the property. This means that if, for example, the property you purchase is €320,000 then the most you can borrow is €288,000. Similarly, if, for example, the property you purchase is €250,000 then the most you can borrow is €225,000.

What is the maximum term over which I can borrow?

The maximum term over which you can borrow is 30 years.

The term may be shorter depending on your age. The number of years between the date of loan drawdown and the oldest applicant reaching the age of 70 determines the length of time over which you can borrow.

This means that a single applicant aged 35 years can have maximum term of 30 years, but a single applicant aged 45 years is limited to a maximum term of 25 years.

In the case of a joint application, one applicant aged 35 years and the other aged 45 years, the couple is limited to a maximum term of 25 years.

How much deposit do I need?

You need a deposit of at least 10% of the market value of the property you intend to purchase or self-build.

Where you wish to borrow 90% of the market value, your 10% deposit contribution must be made up of:

  • personal savings of at least 3% of the value of the property and
  • funds of up to 7% of the value of the property, from an unborrowed source.

Personal savings must be accumulated over a period of at least 12 months before you make your application. You must provide certified or original bank or similar statements (post office, credit union, etc.) clearly showing a credible and consistent record of savings.

The balance of funds may be from a gift or other unborrowed source (i.e., not another loan).

Example:

For a property with a market value of €320,000 you will need a deposit of at least €32,000.

This must be evidenced by way of:

  • a minimum of €9,600 (3%) from your personal savings and
  • €22,400 (7%) from any unborrowed source, such as a parental gift.

Where receiving a gift, a letter is required, detailing the gift amount, that the amount is non repayable and the disponer giving the gift will have no interest in the property purchased with a Local Authority Home Loan.

Can I use the Help-To-Buy scheme towards my deposit?

Yes, you can use the Help-To-Buy scheme towards your deposit.

The Help-To-Buy (HTB) scheme can be used towards your deposit if you are purchasing or self-building a new property. The HTB Application Number and HTB Access Code must be provided as part of your Local Authority Home Loan application. Full details on the Help-To-Buy scheme are available from revenue.ie

What is the interest rate?

A Local Authority Home Loan offers two fixed interest rates:

  • 4.00% fixed for mortgages with a term up to 25 years (APR 4.07%)
  • 4.05% fixed for mortgages with a term from 26 years up to 30 years (APR 4.13%)

Interest rates are subject to change at any time before the drawdown of a Local Authority Home Loan. The interest rate is set on the date of drawdown and is fixed for the full term.

All interest rates quoted are exclusive of Mortgage Protection Insurance (MPI) which is a requirement of borrowing. Eligible borrowers are required to join the Local Authority Mortgage Protection Insurance Group Scheme. MPI is paid monthly, in addition to loan repayments.

What is a fixed interest rate mortgage?

A fixed interest rate mortgage is a loan where the interest rate stays the same throughout an agreed period. The Local Authority Home Loan interest rate is fixed for the full term of the mortgage. This means that your loan repayments are the same every month for the lifetime of the mortgage.

Can I repay my fixed rate mortgage early?

You can repay your fixed rate mortgage early, in full or in part. An early repayment charge may be applied.

What is Mortgage Protection Insurance?

Mortgage Protection Insurance is a form of insurance which pays off the outstanding balance on your mortgage should you die before the mortgage is fully repaid. Mortgage Protection Insurance (MPI) is a requirement of borrowing.

What is the Local Authority Mortgage Protection Insurance Group Scheme?

Mortgage Protection Insurance (MPI) is a requirement of borrowing. The Local Authority MPI scheme is a group scheme. It is obligatory for all borrowers who meet the eligibility criteria to join the scheme.

The benefits include:

  • an additional payment of €3,000 in the event of a member’s death, separate to life cover; and
  • members are also covered for death up to age 75.

Full terms and conditions of the scheme are available from your local authority.

What is the Fresh Start principle?

The Fresh Start principle allows people who have previously owned a home to be eligible to apply for a Local Authority Home Loan.

You are eligible to apply for a Local Authority Home Loan under the Fresh Start principle if you:

  • Previously purchased or self-built a residential property, and
  • Are divorced/separated or otherwise no longer in a relationship with your co-owning partner, and
  • Have left the family home and divested yourself of your interest in the property

or

  • Previously purchased or self-built a residential property and
  • Have been divested of this through insolvency or bankruptcy proceedings

The Fresh Start principle does not allow a Local Authority Home Loan to be used to buy out a former partner’s share of a family home.

What is a Local Property Tax Check?

A Local Property Tax (LPT) check compares your PPSN against a database of people registered with Revenue for Local Property Tax.

Your consent to allow your local authority to conduct an LPT check is required as part of your application for the Local Authority Home Loan. An LPT check is carried out by your local authority to confirm your eligibility as a first-time buyer. The check is made via the Revenue's online LPT system.

In such a case where you are registered for the Local Property Tax but do not own, or have no interest in the registered property, your local authority will require further documentation as proof of this.

What is the Central Credit Register?

The Central Credit Register is a secure system for collecting personal and credit information on loans of €500 or more. The Central Credit Register is owned and operated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

The Central Credit Register is a national database that, on request, provides:

  • an individual credit report detailing an applicant's credit agreements;
  • a lender with comprehensive information to help with credit assessments; and
  • the Central Bank with better insights into national trends in the provision of credit.

All applicants to the Local Authority Home Loan must consent to the carrying out of credit check and reporting of the loan application to Central Credit Register. Consent is given as part of the completion of the Local Authority Home Loan application form.

Where can I get more information about the Local Authority Home Loan?

For more information about the Local Authority Home Loan please read the Information Booklet in full. If you cannot find the answer there, please complete the contact form and your enquiry will be answered.

My Eligibility

Am I eligible if I am not a first-time buyer?

No. You must be a first-time buyer to apply for a Local Authority Home Loan unless you are availing of the Fresh Start Principle.

You are eligible to apply for a Local Authority Home Loan under the Fresh Start Principle if you:

  • Previously purchased or self-built a residential property, and
  • Are divorced/separated or otherwise no longer in a relationship with your co-owning partner, and
  • Have left the family home and divested yourself of your interest in the property or
  • Previously purchased or self-built a residential property and
  • Have been divested of this through insolvency or bankruptcy proceedings

The Fresh Start Principle does not allow a Local Authority Home Loan to be used to buy out a former partner’s share of a family home.

Am I eligible if I have inherited a property?

Yes. You are eligible to apply for the Local Authority Home Loan Scheme even if you inherited a property, i.e., if you own a house that you did not purchase.

Am I eligible to apply if I am from a country outside the Republic of Ireland?

Yes, you are eligible to apply if you currently have a legal right to reside and work in the State. Furthermore, there are minimum periods of residence required for non-EU/EEA applicants:

  • All Irish citizens are automatically legally resident.
  • UK citizens will be regarded as being legally resident in Ireland. (This accords with the Common Travel Area requirements).
  • All EU/EEA citizens who are legally resident in the State will not be eligible to apply for a Local Authority Home Loan for the first three months of residence in the State. Thereafter, they will be eligible to apply.
  • Non-EEA/EU citizens
    • Single/joint applications where both applicant(s) are Non-EEA/EU applicants must be legally resident in Ireland for a period of 5 years; or have leave to remain extending to potentially permit 5 years reckonable residence; or have indefinite leave to remain in the State.
    • An application from a non-EEA/EU national, who is a spouse or civil partner of the EU /EEA national, may be considered as part of a joint application for that household, provided they have a valid residence card or permanent residence card with a valid Stamp 4EUFam.

I am married/in a civil partnership/in a committed relationship – can we apply as two single applicants?

If you are married, in a civil partnership or in an intimate and committed relationship with a partner with whom you intend to reside within the property that you wish to purchase, you must apply for a Local Authority Home Loan together with your spouse, civil partner or partner, either as a joint income applicant or a one earner joint applicant.

What evidence of insufficient mortgage offers do I need?

You must have received insufficient mortgage offers from two regulated mortgage providers to be eligible to apply for the Local Authority Home Loan. Evidence must be dated within twelve months of your application, and the amount you have been offered must be equal to or less than the Local Authority Home Loan amount sought.

Examples of acceptable evidence are:

  • A letter from a regulated mortgage provider showing the amount you requested and were offered, and/or
  • A letter from a regulated mortgage provider stating that your application is outside their lending criteria, and/or
  • An on-line calculator output sheet from a regulated mortgage provider website, showing that you have insufficient borrowing capacity for the amount sought under your Local Authority Home Loan application.
  • A letter from a mortgage broker firm confirming that you have been unable to secure sufficient mortgage finance from two regulated mortgage providers, with supporting screenshots or print outs of the attempts made.

A regulated mortgage provider is a company that is regulated and permitted by the Central Bank of Ireland to provide monies to borrowers who wish to purchase a property, such as banks, building societies and credit unions.

My Employment and Income

What employment do I need to be eligible for the Local Authority Home Loan?

To be eligible for a Local Authority Home Loan, you must be:

  • in continuous employment for a minimum of two years, as a single applicant
  • in continuous employment for a minimum of two years, as the sole earner in a joint application
  • in continuous employment for a minimum of two years, as the primary earner in a joint application and be in continuous employment for a minimum of one year, as a secondary earner in a joint application.

Employment can be PAYE and/or self-employment.

Can I apply if I am on Contract Employment?

Yes. Further evidence of contract employment may be sought by the Local Authority to support an application.

What is continuous employment?

Continuous employment does not need to be permanent, but continuous in nature. This means you may be in the same employment or in more than one employment for that period, where a break in employment has lasted no more than 4 weeks.

Multiple casual employments will not be considered eligible.

What impact does Covid-19 related periods of unemployment have on my continuous employment?

The requirement that a single or sole earner must have at least two years continuous employment and the second applicant must have at least one year of continuous employment is relaxed for periods where an applicant was unemployed as a direct result of the COVID-19 situation. Generally, affected applicants who were in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) up to 5 April 2022 are not considered to have had a break in employment in the two preceding years if the following conditions are met:

  • You confirm that you became unemployed in or after March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 situation and you can provide proof of receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), or another pandemic relevant scheme. If another unemployment support was obtained, you must explain why you did not access PUP, and
  • You have resumed continuous employment for a period of at least three months, post your COVID-19 unemployment period(s).

What evidence of employment do I need?

You must complete the salary certificate on the Local Authority Home Loan application form, which must be signed and stamped by your employer.

Where self-employed, you must provide a minimum of 2 years certified accounts (which should not be more than 18 months old), together with Notices of Assessment from Revenue for those years and an Accountant's or Auditor's Report (a qualified report is not acceptable) from a suitably qualified practitioner (such as ACCA/FCA/CPA/IPA) confirming that all taxes, personal and business, are up to date and in order and that there are no arrangements in place with Revenue in respect of outstanding tax liabilities.

Can I apply if I am on probation?

Yes, you can apply for a Local Authority Home Loan while you are on probation. However, additional documentation may be requested from you as part of your application. It may be necessary for your probation period to have been completed before a final decision can be made and issued.

How is my income calculated for eligibility?

Only income originating in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland by applicants with rights of residency and rights to seek employment in the Republic of Ireland will be reckonable for eligibility. If you are unsure about this, please contact your local authority for confirmation.

For eligibility, your income is calculated:

  • As reported in your PAYE/USC Statement of Liability (formerly P21) for the previous tax year, and/or
  • As reported in your most recent Notice of Assessment from Revenue (which should not be more than 18months old).

How is my income calculated for borrowing?

Only income originating in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland by applicants with rights of residency and rights to seek employment in the Republic of Ireland will be reckonable for borrowing and repayment capacities.

For borrowing, your income is calculated:

  • As your basic earned income as evidenced in the Local Authority Home Loan Salary Certificate, payslips and bank account lodgements, and/or
  • An average of the most recent two-year income as reported in the accounts (which should not be more than 18 months old).

How is my commission/overtime/bonus treated as part of my income?

Your commission, overtime or a bonus will be included as part of your income for eligibility. However, the source and long-term nature of these incomes need to be considered in determining your borrowing and loan repayment capacity.

All additional income must be evidenced in the Local Authority Home Loan Salary Certificate, payslips and bank account lodgements and verifiable as guaranteed and/or regular.

Can I use my State Benefit payments as income?

Certain long-term State Benefit payments may be considered, but only where the main income source is of an earned nature (i.e., more than 50% of the income that forms the full Local Authority Home Loan application is from a source other than State Benefit payments).

Long-term State Benefit payments considered are:

  • State Pension (Contributory);
  • State Pension (Non-Contributory);
  • Widow’s/Widower’s Pension;
  • Blind Pension;
  • Invalidity Pension;

100% of the above long-term State Benefit payments will be used. However, the long-term nature of the payment must be confirmed by the Department of Social Protection or other relevant Government Department.

My Application

Where can I get an application form?

The Local Authority Home Loan application form is available to download here. You may also request a printed copy from your local authority.

Do I have to have a property selected before I apply?

No. You are not required to have a property selected at the time of submitting your application. If you have not identified a property, you can leave the "Details of Property to be Mortgaged" section of the application form blank.

Where do I send my application for a Local Authority Home Loan?

You send your completed application form to the local authority in which you intend to purchase.

Can I apply to more than one local authority?

Yes. You can apply for a Local Authority Home Loan to more than one local authority if you have not yet identified a property to purchase. However, you must complete a separate application form for each local authority you apply to and go through each local authority’s application process. You may only get one Local Authority Home Loan for the purchase of a home or a self-build within the local authority area where you are purchasing or self-building the property.

Do I need to apply for a specified loan amount?

Yes. You are required to have a specified loan amount selected at the time of submitting your application. You must complete the "Mortgage Details" section of the application form.

The Home Loan Calculator will help you estimate the maximum amount you can borrow and afford to repay.

What documentation do I need to provide with my application?

In addition to a fully completed and signed application form, you will need to provide the supporting documentation listed on Appendix 1 in the Information Centre.

A "Checklist for Applicants" is contained within the application form which details all the documentation needed. Your local authority may request further documentation where necessary.

Who makes the decision on my application?

The final decision on your Local Authority Home Loan application is made by your local authority.

What is a valid application?

A Local Authority Home Loan application is considered valid when:

  • the application form is completed in full, with all signatures and consents given and
  • all relevant documentation, as detailed in the "Checklist for Applicants", is provided.

Failure to submit a valid application will result in your application being returned to you, which may cause delays.

How long will it take to get a decision on my application?

Processing of your complete and valid application will take approximately 6-8 weeks. This may vary depending on the local authority or if further information to support your application is sought.

What will I receive from my local authority as part of a decision?

Your local authority will send you a letter confirming its decision. The decision will be a "Decision to Decline" or an "Approval in Principle".

For what reason could my application be declined?

The decision on your application is made by your local authority in accordance with a national credit policy. The credit policy sets out terms and conditions of the Local Authority Home Loan, including eligibility criteria and supporting documentation required. Your application may be declined for one or more reasons. 

How long is an Approval in Principle valid for?

An Approval in Principle is valid for a period of six months from date of issue, subject to the terms and conditions contained therein. The interest rate referred to in an Approval in Principle is indicative and subject to change at any time before the drawdown of a Local Authority Home Loan.

Can I appeal the decision of my local authority on my application?

Yes. Your local authority has an Appeals Procedure in place. 

Where can I get information about my current application?

For information about your current application and its progress, the local authority which you applied to is available to answer any questions you may have. Contact details for your local authority are available here.

My Property

I have heard that the LAHL has been expanded to derelict homes. Can I get a loan to purchase and renovate a Derelict/non-habitable Property now

No. The loan is not yet extended to the purchase and/or renovation of derelict / non-habitable homes. It will become available in mid-2024. More details to follow in due course.

Can the Local Authority Home Loan (LAHL) be used to purchase a vacant or derelict property which is also eligible for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant (VPRG)

The LAHL can currently be used to purchase a vacant property, which is eligible for the VPRG, as long as the property is habitable. The property must meet all relevant LAHL criteria at the time of purchase, such as valuation. It is a matter for the applicant to apply for the VPRG and carry out the appropriate works. However, the LAHL cannot currently be used to purchase a non-habitable property, which would most likely be the case for derelict properties.

What type of property can I purchase or self-build?

The Local Authority Home Loan is available for the purchase of a new or second-hand residential property, and for self-building. It also includes the purchase of residential property through State affordable purchase schemes, with the exception of the First Home Scheme. The residential property purchased or self-built using the Local Authority Home Loan scheme must meet the following conditions:

  • The property must be occupied as your normal place of residence.
  • The property must be in a habitable condition acceptable to your local authority.
  • A Valuation Report, conducted by an approved independent or local authority valuer, must be completed and provided.
  • The property must comply with planning and building regulations.
  • The property must be located in the Republic of Ireland.

Can I use the Local Authority Home Loan for a self-build property?

Yes, you can use the Local Authority Home Loan for a self-build property.

Applications will only be considered in circumstances where the property is a new construction, i.e., properties that are part-built or otherwise commenced at the time of making a Local Authority Home Loan application will not be eligible for consideration.

See appendix 3 in the Information Centre for the Valuation Report which must be completed for all properties.

Can I use the Local Authority Home Loan to purchase a home through an Affordable Purchase Scheme or a Tenant Purchase Scheme?

Yes.

You can use the Local Authority Home Loan for the purchase of residential property through State affordable purchase schemes, with the exception of the First Home Scheme. To be eligible, the minimum purchase price must be within the relevant house price limits for the Local Authority Home Loan and you must prove that you cannot meet this minimum price using a mortgage from a regulated provider and a deposit of 10% of the purchase price.

For a Tenant Purchase scheme, applicants can apply for 100% funding, i.e., no requirement for a deposit is required.

Can I use the Local Authority Home Loan to carry out refurbishments on the property I wish to purchase/already own?

No. The Local Authority Home Loan can be used to purchase new or second-hand properties, or to self-build only. It is not available for refurbishment or renovation projects. Property purchased or self-built must be in a habitable condition acceptable to your local authority.

Can I transfer my Local Authority Home Loan to another property?

No. You cannot transfer your Local Authority Home Loan to another property.

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