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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Thinking of becoming a landlord

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 5. 

If someone pays you rent to live in a property you own, you are a landlord. This includes if you

  • rent out your home while you travel
  • rent out rooms in your home to other people
  • rent out a property to a company who then rents it to other people

You can be fined or taken to court if you are a landlord and you don't follow certain rules. 

If you're receiving rent in return for accommodation you are a landlord. You may have lodgers living with you in your home, you may just be renting out a property until the housing market improves, but either way there are certain steps which you are legally required to take.

There are a number of things you must consider before deciding to become a landlord. There can be a lot of initial expenditure and you will need to be able to dedicate a certain amount of time to your new business.

Being a landlord can take up a lot of your time. Some landlords pay an agent to manage the property. You must still give your tenants your name and address. You need to trust your agent. You could end up in trouble if the agent does something wrong. 

As the property owner, you should make sure that you keep accurate records for all your rented properties. This should include information on your property's amenities as well as any safety certificates associated with the property. As a landlord, you are running a business and should give the same level of importance to record keeping as you would in any other business venture. You must also comply with the Data Protection Act and may have to notify the Information Commissioner's Office of your business.

Even if you've hired an agent to manage your rental properties, you must make yourself aware of your legal obligations to your tenants. If a legal dispute arises you will need to show that you conducted yourself according to your legal obligations. If you're paying an agent to do this for you, make sure they have a sound knowledge of the legislation that governs the private rented sector in Northern Ireland.