Family fears being made homeless over council’s HAP decision

Dublin County Council faces High Court action after informing family it would not pay €300 a month to the landlord for a car parking space and €85 in service charges

The family fears being evicted from the property because the council allegedly will not pay the full amount of rent

A family who fears being made homeless has brought a High Court action aimed at compelling Dublin City Council to pay the full Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) to their landlord.

The case has been brought by Emmanuel Foley, a part-time warehouse cleaner, and Jeanette Afi Aboni, who describes herself as a homemaker. The couple and their three children have been living at their address at Cruise Park, Tyrrelstown, Dublin for almost four years.

The family, who previously spent time in emergency accommodation, fears being evicted from the property because the council allegedly will not pay the full amount of rent, under the HAP scheme, of €2,000 a month to their landlord, Orkstake Limited. As part of the rental arrangement, the family pays €350 a month to the council towards their rent.

Last year, the family claims, the council informed the landlord’s agents, Home Club Limited, that it had been paying more than the amount the applicants were entitled to under the HAP. They say it reduced the payment to the landlord to just over €1,640 a month.


The applicants, represented by Michael O’Connor SC instructed by solicitor Siúna Bartels, say they do not know the legal basis for the council’s decision to reduce the amount being paid.

Following correspondence between the council and the applicants, the council informed them it would not pay €300 a month being charged by the landlord for a car parking space and €85 in service charges. Those charges were included in the lease agreement for the property, it is claimed.

It is alleged the council’s HAP section informed the applicants earlier this year that the rent declared when the tenancy agreement was entered into in 2020 was “false” as it included car parking and utilities. The council also claimed that if the correct rent figure had been quoted in 2020, it was possible the council would not have agreed to the tenancy on affordability grounds.

The council discovered “the true rent figures” only during a subsequent rent review sought by the landlord.

The applicants says they now fear being made homeless after the landlord issued a notice of termination of the tenancy last April due to alleged arrears of rent of just over €1,300.

The applicants sought to mediate matters with their landlord and offered to give up the car parking space, but the landlord says the services and the car parking space charges are not severable from the lease agreement.

In its action, the family says the council is claiming ignorance of the charges and have adopted an irrational and unreasonable position which is putting the family at risk of being made homeless.

The applicants claim that the council knew in 2020 what the situation was regarding the lease agreement and the non-severable nature of the car parking space.

In the current market, the family says, it will be extremely difficult to secure new housing.

In their action against the council, the family seeks various orders and declarations from the court including an order quashing the council’s decision to pay only a maximum of €1,644 a month under the HAP scheme. They also seek orders compelling the council to pay the full amount.

The matter came before Ms Justice Niamh Hyland, who on an ex-parte basis granted the applicants permission to bring their action.

The matter will return before the court next month.