Evicting introductory Housing Executive tenants
The Housing Executive uses a formal procedure to end your introductory tenancy if you have serious rent arrears or it believes that you, a member of your family, someone visiting your property has been guilty of antisocial behaviour.
You must contact a local advice agency as soon as possible if the Housing Executive are threatening to evict you. You can ask for a review of the decision within 14 days.
When can the Housing Executive end an introductory tenancy?
The Housing Executive can end your introductory tenancy if you break the terms of your tenancy agreement. The Housing Executive can use the procedure to end your introductory tenancy if it believes that you, a member of your family, someone visiting your property has been guilty of antisocial behaviour. This means that:
- there has been excessive noise,
- there have been threats of violence or actual violence,
- the property has been used as a brothel,
- the property has been used to supply drugs,
- the property has been used for immoral purposes,
- the property has been used for illegal purposes,
- the property has been allowed to get into bad condition,
- a dog hasn't been kept under control.
The Housing Executive can end your introductory tenancy if you have built up rent arrears or abandoned the property. When deciding whether or not to bring eviction proceedings against you, the Housing Executive must consider whether eviction is a reasonable response to your action. The eviction may not go ahead if a court decides that you losing your home is not a proportionate response to your own actions.
What happens if the Housing Executive wants to end my introductory tenancy?
The Housing Executive must serve a Notice to Terminate. This notice must:
- tell you that an application for possession is being sought,
- tell you the reasons why the Housing Executive is looking for possession,
- tell you that you can ask for a review,
- tell you when the review will be completed and when you can expect to hear the result,
- tell you which court will look at your case,
- tell you when possession proceedings will begin (at least 28 days),
- tell you where to go to get help and advice.
The review hearing is usually your only chance to stop the Housing Executive evicting you.
The Housing Executive can't continue with the possession proceedings until:
- you tell them whether or not you want a review,
- the amount of notice you were given has ended.
You must tell the Housing Executive whether you want a review within 14 days. It's best to get advice from a specialist agency, such as Housing Rights Service, if you have been served with a Notice to Terminate.
What happens at the review?
You can ask for either a paper hearing or an oral hearing. It is usually best to ask for an oral hearing, especially if you feel that the Housing Executive has not considered your circumstances. This section has more information on getting a review when you are an introductory tenant.
If you don't agree with the review decision you may be able to apply for a judicial review. Judicial review is a very complicated process and you should get advice if you are considering this option. An adviser can tell you whether you have a good case and can help with practical matters such as filling in court forms and preparing for hearings.
Can I ask the court to look at the decision again?
While the court can't look into the reasons for the decision, it should consider whether eviction is a reasonable response to the situation. If the court agrees that the Housing Executive's decision to evict is proportionate, the court must give the Housing Executive possession of your home if:
- you have been given a Notice to Terminate,
- you have had the chance to go to a review hearing,
- you have been given at least 28 days' notice.
However, if the court decides that the Housing Executive hasn't followed the correct procedures it can stop the proceedings to allow you to apply for a judicial review. If the court believes that eviction is unreasonable or disproportionate under the circumstances, it may refer the decision back to the Housing Executive.
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