When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Right to repair and self help schemes

The Housing Executive has 2 schemes for its tenants who are waiting for repairs. 

  • Get compensation if your repairs are late under the right to repair scheme
  • Claim back the costs of certain repairs you've paid for under the self-help scheme

The right to repair scheme

You can get compensation if the Housing Executive is slow to do repairs that 

  • are urgent or emergency repairs and
  • qualify under the right to repair scheme

The Housing Executive has

  • 24 hours to deal with emergency repairs, and
  • 4 days to deal with urgent repairs

Contact the Housing Executive if it hasn't started the repair within this time. Ask to use the right to repair. 

The Housing Executive should find a new contractor and set a new 24 hour or 4-day deadline. You can get compensation if the repair isn't done by the new deadline.

Compensation under right to repair

You will get £10 if the work isn't done by the new deadline. 

You'll get an extra £2 for each extra day the work is delayed. 

The most you can get is £50 per repair. 

The Housing Executive can use your compensation to reduce certain debts you owe, like unpaid rent or charges.

Exceptions from the right to repair

The right to repair doesn't apply if

  • your repair is a routine repair
  • you’ve told the Housing Executive that you don’t want the repair carried out
  • you wouldn't let the contractor into your home
  • your repair isn’t to a dwelling house or
  • the delay was out of the control of the Housing Executive and the contractor, (e.g. bad weather).

Paying for repairs and claiming the money back

You can pay for certain repairs and claim the money back from the Housing Executive. This is called the "self-help scheme". You can only do this if

  • you are a Housing Executive tenant, and
  • you have permission from the Housing Executive to use the self-help scheme, and
  • the repair qualifies for the self-help scheme.

List of repairs for self-help

You may be able to use the self-help scheme for repairs that are

  • the Housing Executive's responsibility to fix
  • routine repairs

It can be used for things like

  • replacing slates
  • repairing gutters
  • replacing bathroom doors and frames
  • installing a replacement radiator
  • replacing front gates
  • repairing fences
  • replacing internal doors
  • replacing front doors

You can use the scheme for minor electrical or plumbing repairs. But, the work must be done by a qualified electrician or plumber. You'll need to give the Housing Executive proof of the person's qualifications.

Using the self-help scheme

Ask the Housing Executive for permission to use the scheme.  

The Housing Executive will send a maintenance officer to your home within 5 days.  They will check if the repair is necessary and if it qualifies under the self-help scheme.

The Housing Executive will ask you to sign an authorisation form. This will say how much the repair is likely to cost and how much you can claim back.

The amount you can claim depends on the work you need. But the most the Housing Executive will pay is £200. 

Finding a contractor

You need to find a contractor to do the work. You have to use qualified contractors for electrical or plumbing work. 

Get a receipt from the contractor when you pay. Let the Housing Executive know the work has finished.

The Housing Executive will check the work to make sure it's been done properly. Then, they'll send you the money 

They can use your money to reduce any debts you owe the Housing Executive, like unpaid rent or charges.

The Housing Executive can pay the contractor directly if you can’t afford to do it.  Ask about setting up a mandated payment if you want to do this.