When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

No tenancy agreement

You have to stick to the terms in your most recent tenancy agreement until you sign a new one.  But, not all tenants get a written contract. 

You still have some basic rights even if you do not have a written tenancy agreement. 

Length of your tenancy

The law says your tenancy will last for six months if you've never had a written agreement. Your landlord needs a good reason to evict you during these first six months. Get advice if your landlord says you have to move out. 

You and the landlord can agree on a shorter or longer tenancy. 


The law explains who is responsible for repairs when there is no tenancy agreement. 

Your landlord is responsible for repairs to:

  • the structure and exterior of the property including drains, gutters, pipes and paintwork
  • the interior of the property
  • heating, gas and electricity systems
  • plumbing systems
  • any appliances they provided
  • any fixtures or furniture provided.

The landlord does not have to repair things if you damaged them. 

You are responsible for

  • repairs to anything you have damaged
  • reporting any problems to the landlord as soon as possible
  • general maintenance, like changing fuses and lightbulbs
  • keeping the interior in good condition
  • getting written permission before making any changes to the property.

Your other tenant rights 

You have certain other rights, including the right to