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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Advice for landlords

Landlords may be worried that they could get into trouble if they rent to people who don't have permission to live in the UK. This is because of a law that applies in England and which is often referred to as "right to rent checks". But these checks don't apply to tenancies in Northern Ireland.

Estate agents and letting agents will often have their own complaints process. Many agents belong to a professional redress scheme which may be able to sort out problems if you're unhappy with the service you've been given by your agent.

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.

Your tenants are obliged to keep their rental accounts up to date. If a tenant is late with rent or hasn't paid in full, you should contact them to find out what has happened.

If you are liable for rates on your rental properties, you must ensure that payment is made promptly to LPS. Where the tenants are liable for rates, payment is there responsibility and there is no risk to you if the tenants do not pay the bills.

Your tenants are entitled to serve you with a Notice to Quit and must do so if they wish to vacate the property. This can happen with periodic tenants or tenants in a fixed term who wish to end the tenancy early. If your tenants leave during the period of their tenancy agreement, you can take court action against them to be reimbursed for unpaid rent.

Some landlords may be reluctant to rent a property out to European tenants after Brexit because they are worried about the tenant getting help to pay rent if they stop working. However, European people who were already resident in the UK when Brexit happens can continue to apply for benefits.

Owners of empty properties will receive a rates bill for the empty property each year. There are a few exceptions to this rule. 

All landlords of private tenancies in Northern Ireland need to register. You can do this online, by telephone or in writing. You will have to pay a fee to register and you'll need to renew your registration every 3 years.

In an emergency, you can enter the rented property to secure it or make it safe for others. However, you cannot usually enter the property without the prior consent of your tenants.

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