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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Discounts on rates for rental properties

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 choosing option 5. Lines open Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 2.30pm.

There are discounts available to landlords who accept responsibility for rates on more than one rental property. There are two types of landlord accounts: an article 20 account and an article 21 account. The discount is the same for each type of account, but which one you will have depends on the value of your properties. 

Eligibility for discount

To qualify for the landlord discount you must:

 

  • own at least one rental properties for which you are legally liable for rates or for which you have accepted liability for rates;
  • agree to pay your total annual rates bill in one single payment;
  • agree to pay your total annual rates bill by 30 September each year;
  • have an Article 20 or Article 21 rates account.

Vacant properties are not eligible for a rates discount.

Article 20 account

You will have an Article 20 account if: 

  • your property or properties each have a capital value of £150,000 or less OR
  • your property or properties are Houses in Multiple Occupation. 

Article 21 account

You will have an Article 21 account if:

Applying for and updating your landlord rates account

To apply for either account, you must fill in the appropriate form, which you can download from NI Direct. LPS will examine your application and decide whether you qualify for the discount.

If you meet the eligibility criteria LPS will amend your rate account and assign it "agent status". All your rental properties will be bundled under one account. You can add or remove properties to your agent account. If this is done after 30 September, you will be issued with a revised bill.

You need to keep your account up to date, and should tell LPS if

  • your personal details change
  • your billing details change
  • you add or remove rental properties to your portfolio.

You can update your account details online.

Paying your rates bill

If you have either an Article 20 or Article 21 account, you must pay your rates bill in a single payment by the 30 September to qualify for the discount.

You can pay by:

  • direct debit
  • cheque at LPS offices
  • BACS

If you do not pay your rates bill, you may be taken to court by LPS.

Overpayment of rates

If your tenants are getting assistance with their rates through Housing Benefit or a rates rebate, this could result in a credit on your account, particularly if you have already paid your annual rates bill in a lump sum in order to get the discount. Land & Property Services has said that landlords who end up with a credit on their account can apply to have this reimbursed. Speak to the landlord team at Land & Property Services by calling 0300 200 7801 to find out more.