When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Renting a home with other people

There are some important things to agree when you decide to live with someone. Your rights can change depending on 

  • who you live with, and
  • what your contract says.

Living in your landlord's home

You may not have as many rights if you live in your landlord's home and 

  • the landlord is allowed to enter your room without your permission, or
  • you pay your landlord to provide meals or cleaning services.

In these cases you are more likely to be a licensee than a tenant. Your rights will depend on what your contract says. The law doesn't give you much protection beyond this. 

Your landlord may not have to give you written notice if they want you to move out. Speak to our advisers if your landlord has asked you to leave your home.

Benefits if you live with your landlord

You will not get help from benefits to pay your rent if 

  • you live with your landlord and
  • the landlord is a close family member.

Speak to our advisers to find out more about this rule. 

Living with a partner

Moving in with a partner is exciting, but it can also cause stress in a relationship.

It's not very romantic, but try to agree some rules about money, utilities and chores before you move in. 

If you split up, contact an advice agency. Your rights can vary, depending on your circumstances and your status.

Living with friends

Moving in with friends can be a great idea, but you need to be clear about the practicalities.

You need to understand if you are all joint tenants or if there is one tenant and lots of sub-tenants. 

Most joint tenants have "joint and several" liability. This means that you, and your guarantor, can be held responsible for money owed by your flatmates. 

Our mediation service may be able to help you and your flatmates solve any disagreements. 

Living with strangers

It can be difficult to afford a place of your own as a single person. Instead, people will often rent a room in a shared house or flat. You can usually find rooms to rent on websites like Spareroom and Gumtree

Your home may be a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) if there are at least 3 of you living in a shared house. There are different rules for renting a HMO and your landlord must have a licence. 

It's important to agree on rules and responsibilities if you share with people you don't know. Our mediation service may be able to help you and your flatmates solve any disagreements.