Low uptake of tenant-in-situ scheme as house purchases set to miss 1,500 target

Scheme encourages local authorities to buy homes to keep State-supported tenants from being evicted into homelessness

Several local authorities have reported only buying small numbers of homes under a scheme aimed at keeping tenants in place in cases where a landlord opts to sell the property.

Under the tenant-in-situ scheme, councils are encouraged to purchase homes where the landlord is selling up and the tenant is receiving State supports such as the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) or is on the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS).

The policy was reintroduced by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien in April 2022 as part of efforts to stem the flow of people becoming homeless after being evicted from privately rented properties. The Government has said it is hopeful that about 1,500 homes can be bought under the tenant-in-situ scheme this year.

The Irish Times reported on Friday that just 13 homes have been purchased under the scheme between the four Dublin councils, despite more than 400 properties being offered to the local authorities. A further 382 properties are being examined for possible purchase, of which 92 are described as at “closing” or “sale agreed” stage.


Figures from a number of other local authorities across the country show a similarly low number of purchases through the scheme to date.

Louth County Council said it had been offered 26 properties under the tenant-in-situ scheme, and had agreed to buy three. The council said it was considering the other 23 properties and awaiting valuations.

In Monaghan, the local authority said it had received no proposals to purchase homes under the scheme. However, it said it had bought one house inhabited by a HAP or RAS tenant on the open market and had agreed to buy another.

Wexford County Council said out of 34 properties being assessed to potentially buy under the scheme, offers had been accepted from the council on two. It said valuations had been completed on a further 10 properties under consideration.

Laois County Council said it has to date bought six properties under the scheme, out of 34 offered to the local authority. The council said it was considering placing offers on a further 13 homes.

Kilkenny County Council said that since last June it had bought five properties from landlords to keep tenants in their homes, and was considering buying another five.

Clare County Council said it had bought four homes under the tenant-in-situ scheme, and it was considering making offers in a further 13 cases.

Some local authorities reported buying significantly more than others in recent months.

A spokeswoman for Kildare County Council said from 85 properties offered as tenant-in-situ buys, it had bought or was in the process of buying 39 homes. The council was considering a further four offers.

Tipperary County Council said it had weighed up buying 128 homes from landlords under the scheme since last June. It said it had bought or agreed to buy 44 of the properties, while offers were still being considered in 29 cases. The council said in some instances it opted against buying properties as they did not represent good value for money, or as tenants had found alternative housing.

The remaining 19 local authorities did not respond to requests for figures on the numbers of homes purchased under the tenant-in-situ scheme.

* This article was amended on March 13th to correct an error. It was originally stated that Clare County Council bought no homes under the scheme.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times