When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Protected tenancy for landlords

Advice for landlords in Northern Ireland

This page is for landlords operating in Northern Ireland.  You can find advice for tenants elsewhere on our website. Private landlords in Northern Ireland can call Landlord Advice on 028 9024 5640 and choose option 1. 

Tenancies which meet certain criteria are known as protected tenancies. Rents for these tenancies are set and controlled by a government official. You may find it difficult to end a protected tenancy. The tenant may be able to pass on their tenancy when they die. 

There are a list of criteria that a tenancy must satisfy in order to be protected. The first of these is that the tenancy must have existed before 1 April 2007. No new protected tenancies can be created after this date, but the Rent Officer may still declare that tenancies which were in place before April 2007 are protected by law.

The Rent Officer, rather than individual landlords, sets all rents for protected tenancies. If a landlord wishes to increase the amount of rent which can be legally charged on this type of tenancy, s/he must request a Rent Determination from the Rent Officer.

While protected tenants have many of the same rights as other private tenants, they also have a number of additional rights. These are a right to succession and greater protection from eviction.

Protected tenants have greater protection from eviction than other tenants. You can only evict them if you can show that the grounds for eviction set out in law apply.