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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Affordable privately rented housing from Smartmove

Smartmove may be able to find you an affordable private tenancy, which won't require a full deposit before you move in. Staff at Smartmove can also help you get in touch with any extra support that you might need to make sure your tenancy lasts.  If you take up a Smartmove tenancy, you'll be taken off the waiting list. 

Smartmove Housing will manage these private tenancies and will find support for anyone who signs up to this scheme but needs extra help managing a private tenancy. Complete this form if you would like someone at Smartmove to contact you about the scheme. 

How to apply

You should complete this form if you're interested in taking on a tenancy with Smartmove. Someone from Smartmove will phone you back to talk about their scheme and see if they have any properties available which would suit you. 

What are the advantages of taking a property through this scheme?

Taking on a Smartmove tenancy has many advantages.  Unlike other estate agents, Smartmove won't ask you to pay a full deposit before you move in.  They'll ask you to pay a portion of it before you move in and then let you pay the rest of the deposit off in instalments during the first 6 months of your tenancy.  Smartmove can also help you get in touch with any extra support you might need in order to keep your tenancy running smoothly. The other main advantages are

  • If you use this scheme, you’ll probably have a home to call your own much more quickly than if you are waiting for an offer from the Housing Executive or a housing association.
  • Staff at Smartmove Housing will help you get in touch with any support services you need and will help you work out if you’re entitled to any extra benefits.  
  • Smartmove will manage your tenancy for the first 6 months and will try to resolve any problems if there’s a dispute between you and the landlord during this time.

Deposits

You won’t need to pay a full deposit before you move into the property but you will have to pay a certain amount of the deposit and agree to save in Smartmove's savings scheme to pay off the rest of the deposit.  This money will be yours to take with you if you leave as long as you haven’t caused any damage to the property. Smartmove will protect your money in the tenancy deposit scheme run by TDS NI.  

Smartmove can also pay the deposit for you on a property managed by another agency as long as 

What happens if the tenancy breaks down in the first 6 months?

If the tenancy fails in the first 6 months and it wasn’t your fault, you should speak to an adviser at Housing Rights about your options.

Read our top tips for renting if you haven’t rented privately before and you’re thinking about applying for this new scheme.

Before you sign up for a tenancy, remember that...

  • You will lose your place on the waiting list and all your points if you've applied for social housing.  If your circumstances change later on, you’ll be able to apply to go on the waiting list again but this will be a new application and you won’t get your old points back.
  • Privately rented properties are usually more expensive than properties owned by the Housing Executive or a housing association.  Your housing benefit won’t always cover the full cost of renting privately and you may have to give your landlord a top-up payment every month.
  • If you break the terms of your tenancy agreement, your landlord may be able to evict you.
  • You’ll have to save towards your deposit each month.  This may seem like a disadvantage but you will have a lump sum to take with you if you leave the property as long as you don’t owe the landlord any rent and you haven’t caused any damage.
  • Although Smartmove landlords have signed up to the scheme for 3 years, private landlords don’t have to renew a tenancy agreement each year.  Your landlord may decide to sell the property or to stop renting it out and you will have to leave.
  • You may not be able to decorate the property, as you want to.  If you improve or decorate the property your landlord doesn’t have to pay you any compensation when you leave and can even insist that you return the property to its original condition before you leave.  If your landlord allows you to decorate the property, ask him or her to confirm this in a letter or email.

Getting advice on your housing options

Get independent advice before deciding whether or not to use this scheme.  You can speak to an adviser at Housing Rights if you want to find out more.