Labouring with cumbersome spreadsheets and manual processes to calculate rent assessments? Employing a dedicated differential rent scheme calculator can be a huge time-saver. In fact, it can be a complete game-changer.
Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) across the Irish Republic apply rent to tenants according to local authority rules. Irish county and city councils operate differential rent schemes which calculate rent based on a number of personal and employment criteria. Based on these schemes, each AHB performs complex rent assessment calculations to determine how much rent to charge.
Someone in your housing body has to interpret these rules, and devise the correct formula in a spreadsheet. After that, you must plug in the various employment and household details. However, spreadsheets are notorious for errors when you’re just dealing with cell references. Even if the formula is watertight, the calculation process is manual, long-winded, and prone to error.
What a complete waste of your valuable time!
Affinity is a web-based software product created specifically for Approved Housing Bodies in Ireland. One of its key components is a dedicated differential rent scheme calculator, which makes these rent assessment calculations fast, easy and accurate.
One Dublin-based Approved Housing Body told us they used to take a week to process 40 rent assessments. With Affinity’s different rent calculator they can now do 40 per day!
As mentioned above, each city and county council across the Republic of Ireland has its own specific rent assessment policy.
They aren’t all easy to read either, often stretching to several pages of long-hand narrative-style text. These policies refer to minimum and maximum rent amounts, fixed rents, and rules for rounding off. You need to obtain household and employment earnings data for the principal or primary earner, as well as any subsidiary or secondary earners. Additionally, factor in dependents and old-age pensioners, and you have so much data to process that even the best-designed spreadsheet can be daunting.
Frankly, the whole rent assessment process can be downright head-wrecking!
|Carlow County Council||Not Available||Carlow County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Cavan County Council||Cavan County Policy||Cavan County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Clare County Council||Clare County Policy||Clare County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Cork City Council||Cork City Policy||Cork City Differential Rent Calculator|
|Cork County Council||Cork County Policy||Cork County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Donegal County Council||Donegal County Policy||Donegal County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Dublin City Council||Dublin City Policy||Dublin City Differential Rent Calculator|
|Dungarvan Town Council||Not Available||Dungarvan Town Differential Rent Calculator|
|Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Council||Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Council Policy||Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Council Differential Rent Calculator|
|Fingal County Council Council||Fingal County Council Policy||Fingal County Council Differential Rent Calculator|
|Galway City Council||Galway City Policy||Galway City Differential Rent Calculator|
|Galway County Council||Galway County Policy||Galway County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Kerry County Council||Kerry County Policy||Kerry County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Kildare County Council||Kildare County Policy||Kildare County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Kilkenny County Council||Kilkenny County Policy||Kilkenny County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Laois County Council||Laois County Policy||Laois County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Leitrim County Council||Leitrim County Policy||Leitrim County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Limerick City and County Council||Limerick City and County Policy||Limerick City and County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Longford County Council||Not Available||Longford County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Louth County Council||Not Available||Louth County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Mayo County Council||Mayo County Policy||Mayo County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Meath County Council||Meath County Policy||Meath County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Monaghan County Council||Monaghan County Policy||Monaghan County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Offaly County Council||Offaly County Policy||Offaly County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Roscommon County Council||Not Available||Roscommon County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Sligo County Council||Sligo County Policy||Sligo County Differential Rent Calculator|
|South Dublin County Council||South Dublin County Policy||South Dublin County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Tipperary County Council||Tipperary County Policy||Tipperary County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Waterford City County Council||Not Available||Waterford City County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Waterford County Council||Not Available||Waterford County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Westmeath County Council||Westmeath County Policy||Westmeath County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Wexford County Council||Wexford County Policy||Wexford County Differential Rent Calculator|
|Wicklow County Council||Wicklow County Policy||Wicklow County Differential Rent Calculator|
Not only are all these various differential rent scheme policies a pain to familiarise with, they often change without warning. Just when you’ve got the hang of a particular policy it is revised.
We have long-standing connections with almost all of the county and city councils across Ireland; the final few are being added in the coming weeks. If and when they revise their rent assessment policies, we update the calculator with the new rules. As a result, you can rest assured your calculations are always correct.
Many of the differential rent assessment policies are written in longhand, text-heavy narrative. The first task within the housing body is to translate these complex rules into an Excel spreadsheet.
Take the first X of the principal earnings. Disregard A if it exceeds B. Get one sixth of C if it falls between D and E. Round to the nearest Z. And repeat.
Quite apart from the brain-strain, it’s obvious how easily errors can be introduced into these workings.
Make a mistake in the rent assessment, and someone is going to lose out. This may not be simply a monetary loss either. For example, if an error in the differential rent calculation results in an undercharge, you cannot revisit the calculation to fix it. You are stuck with that, and the housing association will lose out on money, potentially a considerable loss.
In contrast, miscalculate a value which results in an overcharge, and the tenant could encounter undue hardship and report your housing body to their local county council or TD. Mess up more than one or two calculations and this could seriously damage your chances of obtaining properties to lease in future. Furthermore, if they raise the overcharge with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), the tenant can claim up to €20,000 in compensation.
In short, you simply cannot afford to make mistakes in these rent assessments.
We have turned all of these calculation formula into computer code algorithms behind the scenes. You no longer require an Excel formula guru. With Affinity’s dedicated differential rent scheme calculator you don’t even have to think about them. Plug the values into a straightforward web-based form, and it will give you the rent assessment value along with its workings for reference.
Our Affinity software has been created specifically for the Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) in the Republic of Ireland. Differential rent scheme calculations are part and parcel of our housing association software. As a result, you can trust our software since these rent assessments are our bread and butter.
Some rent assessment schemes remain static for many years, while others revise their scheme guidelines with little and no warning.
In fact, depending on the closeness of your relationship and communications with your local authority, you could even be using the wrong formula right now. Or the wrong version of the spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are notorious for mutating each time someone downloads or edits them, until eventually nobody is sure which version is the latest and correct one.
Do you even completely 100% trust your existing spreadsheet formulae?
Get the rent assessment calculations wrong and someone with suffer. Most certainly the housing association, but potentially your tenants also.
We have close relationships with the various county and city councils across Ireland. When a local council updates their differential rent scheme calculation guidelines, we introduce a new variation of their scheme in our software. Therefore, when performing your rent assessment, just provide the effective date for the tenancy, and trust that it is using the correct version of the formula.
One less thing for you to worry about. Just perform your rent assessment calculation, file it, trust it, and move on.
You don’t just have to take our “magic number” and trust it blindly. We provide a printable PDF outlining how the rent assessment value was obtained.
Consider the painful consequences of getting the rent assessment calculation wrong. For example, assess too low, and the housing association loses out. On the other hand, if your assessment is too high, the overcharge could result in hardship, complaints, compensation claims, and damage to reputation.
Each rent assessment performed via Affinity’s differential rent scheme calculator comes with a detailed PDF report. This report clearly shows the data you used to arrive at the differential rent calculation, suitable for filing and future reference. This includes all income data you provided for principal and subsidiary earners, along with any other specific employment, household, or personal details required by the particular city or county council.
If you need to perform a new assessment in future, the existing rent assessment printout can serve as a handy reference for the new revised calculation.
It is quite common for tenants’ personal and employment circumstances to change after you have performed the initial rent assessment. Wheel out the spreadsheet for a new rent assessment calculation? More headaches, and more time lost. On the other hand, it’s very simple and straightforward with Affinity’s differential rent scheme calculator.
Typical reasons why circumstances may change include:
With the previous assessment readily to hand as an easy-to-read PDF, simply run through the new calculation in a couple of minutes, and get the revised rent value. File this away for future reference. Job done in no time at all.
Best of all, there’s no commitment or signup required to try this out.
Visit our free differential rent scheme calculator on our website, and you’ll see how this is a game-changer. Easy, accurate, and fast. What’s not to like.
In addition, the full Affinity housing management software gives much more than just rent assessment calculations. For example, you can easily track rent and service charges, all manner of tenant receipts, work orders, tenant complaints, and much more. Take the rent calculator for a test drive, by all means. But it would be great to show you a demo of what the full system can do.
The software has completely transformed the Approved Housing Bodies who have adopted it. We’d be happy to share their testimonials, some from the leading housing associations in Ireland.
Just fill in this simple contact form or drop us an email to email@example.com, and we’ll be in touch to arrange a demo of Affinity.
Photos from Unsplash by: Ben Kolde, Scott Graham, Kristina Tripkovic, Aditya Romansa, Andrew Pons
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