medium text sizelarge text sizelarge text and high contrast

This site uses cookies. Find out more.

Further information

You can contact the Mortgage Arrears Information Helpline on 0761 07 4050

National mortgage-to-rent scheme


Under the national mortgage-to-rent scheme, people who are having trouble paying their mortgages to private lenders can switch from owning their home to renting their home as social tenants. If you take up the mortgage-to-rent option, you will no longer own your home or have any financial interest in it.

A new mortgage-to-rent option for local authority borrowers in arrears has been announced.

A mortgage-to-lease option is also being developed.


The national mortgage-to-rent scheme is for people who have mortgages with private lenders, such as banks or building societies.

For you to qualify for this scheme:

  • You must have been involved in the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP) with your lender and agree that you can no longer afford to pay your mortgage loan now or in the future
  • You must own the property you live in, with a current market value of less than €220,000 in the Dublin area or less than €180,000 in the rest of the State
  • Your property must be in good condition, must be in a suitable location and must suit your needs
  • You must not own any other property or have assets in excess of €20,000.
  • You must have a long-term right to remain in the State

You must also qualify for social housing from your local authority. As part of this requirement, your net household income must not exceed €25,000, €30,000 or €35,000 a year, depending on which part of the State you live in. The income limits for different locations are in this table (pdf). Net household income is your household income after taxes and social insurance have been taken off. There are some additional allowances for children.

Read more about qualifying for social housing.

Getting advice

You must get legal and financial advice before the mortgage-to-rent process can go ahead.

Your lender will pay up to €500 for legal advice.

If you wish, your lender will also pay €250 for you to get financial advice from an accountant on the Mortgage Arrears Information and Advice Service panel.

The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) can provide debt advice.

How it works

You voluntarily surrender possession of your home to your mortgage lender. Your mortgage lender immediately sells your home to a housing association, who will then rent it to you. See below for more information on housing associations.

The lender and the housing association agree the price of the property based on the market valuation of your home. The proceeds from the sale of your home to the housing association will go towards your mortgage debt and you come to an arrangement with your lender for the remaining repayment, if any.

You will no longer own your property but you can continue living in your home as a social housing tenant and you will have a tenancy agreement with the housing association. As with all sales of property since 1 January 2010, the date of sale, price and address of your home will be placed on the Residential Property Price Register, which is published by the Property Services Regulatory Authority.

If your financial situation improves, there will be an option to buy the home back from the housing association after a period of 5 years.

Housing associations

A housing association is a registered charity and an independent not-for-profit organisation which has been approved to provide and manage social housing. Housing associations aim to provide housing for those who cannot meet their housing needs from their own resources at an affordable rent.

You will pay a rent based on your income. If your income increases the rent will increase but if your income falls then the rent payment will also reduce. In this way the rent paid remains affordable.

You must be eligible for social housing in order to become a housing association tenant. The assessment of suitability for social housing is carried out by local authorities. Your lender can provide an application form to apply to your local authority.


If your lender does not agree that you are suitable for the mortgage-to-rent scheme, you can appeal to the lender’s Appeals Committee under the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP).

How to apply

Where appropriate, your lender will offer you the opportunity to apply for the scheme and give you an application form for mortgage-to-rent. If you are interested, you give consent in writing to your lender to submit your details to a number of organisations involved in the scheme.

You then need to do the following:

  1. You agree to surrender ownership of your home in exchange for a tenancy agreement with a housing association.
  2. You complete your Mortgage to Rent application form and a Social Housing Support application form and give them to your local authority along with all the required documentation, including the Letter of Offer to Participate in the Mortgage to Rent Scheme (issued to you by your lender).

Where to apply

You should contact your mortgage lender to discuss your suitability for the mortgage-to-rent scheme.

Read more about the mortgage-to-rent scheme.

Last edited: 13/02/2014