When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Housing benefit for landlords

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. 

The current state of the economy means that more and more people may have to apply for housing benefit for help with their housing costs. Housing benefit can only be used to pay for rent and rates. It will not cover any service charges or heating costs.

If you are a private landlord, it's important that you understand how the system works and what your tenants are entitled to.

If someone has to pay rent or rates for their home and is on a low income, they can make a claim for housing benefit. There are some people who cannot apply for housing benefit.

There are two assessment schemes for people who rent privately and claim housing benefit. The most common scheme is the Local Housing Allowance scheme, but in some cases a tenant will be assessed under different rules.

The amount of housing benefit which your tenants get will not always match up to the amount of rent you charge. The Housing Executive looks at the size of the claimant's household, their personal circumstances and the area in which they live before deciding how much housing benefit they are entitled to.

Housing benefit is paid in arrears and at either fortnightly or four weekly intervals. When a tenant moves out of the property you need to tell the Housing Executive so it can stop the claim. If the tenant moves out, but the Housing Executive is still paying housing benefit, it may try to reclaim this overpayment from you.