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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Paying rent and other charges

You have to pay rent to your landlord. You may be able to get help from benefits to pay this if you are on a low income. 

Responsibility for rent

The tenant, or tenants, are responsible for paying rent. 

Your landlord can take you to court if you don't pay rent. The court can

  • order you to move out of the property
  • order you to pay all the money you owe
  • order you to pay your landlord's legal costs

Amount of rent you will pay

Your landlord will tell you how much you have to pay before you move in. Your offer of tenancy will set out

  • your rent
  • your rates
  • any service charges you have to pay

Your rent will increase in April every year. 

Paying rates

You have to pay rates for your home. These are included in your weekly rent payment to your landlord.

Help to pay your rent and rates

You can get help to pay rent through Universal Credit or Housing Benefit. You can only get Housing Benefit if

  • you are already getting Housing Benefit and you move to a new home, or
  • you are over pension age.

You need to claim Universal Credit to get help with your rent in all other cases. 

Housing Benefit includes help with your rates. 

You have to apply for a rate rebate to cover your rates payments if you are on Universal Credit. 

Other charges

You may have to pay other charges for living in your home. These could be

  • service charges to pay for things like heating, lighting, communal areas
  • support costs if you live in sheltered or supported housing.

Paying rent

You can pay your rent

  • by direct debit or standing order
  • online, at your landlord's website or the Allpay website
  • using the Allpay app
  • using a Paypoint service at a shop
  • in cash or by cheque at your landlord's office.

Problems paying rent

Contact our helpline if you're having problems paying rent. 

Never pay a company to help you with your rent debt. There are lots of charities who will help you for free.