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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Advice for landlords

The council can issue a suitability notice if it believes that the HMO is not suitable for the number or type of occupants.

Once you've chosen your tenants, you need to draw up a tenancy agreement and provide the tenant with certain legally required documents.

Many landlords prefer to install meters in rented properties, meaning that utilities such as electricity and gas must be pre paid. If your property is a HMO, you may not legally be allowed to install a prepay electricity meter. It's worth considering cabling your property for utilities such as broadband to make your property more attractive.

Your tenants have a right to peaceful enjoyment of the property they rent and you have a responsibility to ensure that right is observed. This means you cannot enter the property without their permission and you cannot allow others to access the property.

You may be eligible for a grant for certain types of repairs. There are schemes available which will provide some assistance if you wish to make your home more energy efficient. If the council has issued a Statutory Notice against your property, you may be able to get a Repairs Grant from the Housing Executive.

While protected tenants have many of the same rights as other private tenants, they also have a number of additional rights. These are a right to succession and greater protection from possession action.

From 1 April 2019 all HMOs in Northern Ireland must be licenced. Any HMO that is currently registered will have this registration automatically converted to a licence. You should take note of when your existing registration is due for renewal so you can apply for a licence in advance of this date.

Any deposits taken on or after 1 April 2013 must be registered with an authorised Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme administrator. Deposits taken before that date don't need to be registered with one of these schemes.

An unfurnished property will often attract a different type of tenant to a furnished property. Whether your rental property is furnished or unfurnished will also have an impact on your tax obligations.

A security deposit belongs to a tenant. You should look at this money in the same way that you would an insurance policy. You have no right to the money unless you have suffered a financial loss which was caused by the tenant failing to do something that he or she was contractually or legally obliged to do.

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