Before you agree to take on a tenancy, you should find out who is responsible for managing the property. All landlords have to be register their details with the Landlord Registrar for Northern Ireland, even if an agent is managing the property.
The person or organisation who manages the property is responsible for:
- providing you with a rent book
- collecting your rent
- organising for repairs to be carried out in the property.
Before signing a tenancy agreement, you should find out who will be managing the property and who you should contact with any problems.
In many cases, even though a property has been advertised and let by an estate agent, the landlord will manage the property or vice versa. It is essential that you get the name, address and telephone number of your landlord, even if an estate agent is managing the property. You have a legal right to receive a rent book, which must contain this information as well as details of rent and rates payable.
The rent book must be provided, regardless of how you pay your rent, within 28 days of the tenancy beginning. The agent can't charge you for this item.
If your landlord or estate agent refuses to provide you with a rent book you should report them to the Environmental Health Department of your local council. It is an offence to withhold a rent book and your landlord or estate agent can be prosecuted for failing to provide this.