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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Advice for landlords

This video explains some of the things landlords who rent out property in Northern Ireland must do to follow the law.  

Certain decisions about HMOs can be appealed at County Court. There are strict time-frames for requesting an appeal and you will need a solicitor to carry out this work for you.

As with any business, being a landlord carries risk. Keep records of any letters or messages you send to your tenants when you're trying to sort out problems. These will help if a legal dispute arises and you end up in court.

When a rental property is contained in an apartment block or housing development, either the tenant or the landlord may be expected to pay an annual service charge. This charge will usually cover maintenance and repair work in communal areas.

The Housing Amendment Act (NI) 2011 introduced a legal requirement for any deposits taken as part of a residential tenancy to be registered with a tenancy deposit protection scheme. This requirement will apply to any deposits taken on or after 1 April 2013. Find out more about the requirements and appointed scheme administrators.

Your local council may contact you if it has received reports about nuisance behaviour from your tenants. This will generally be in relation to rubbish or noise problems.

The council will only grant a HMO licence if it is satisfied that the management arrangements for the property are satisfactory. As well as meeting the fit and proper person test, owners and managing agents are subject to a Code of Practice. Breaching this code could lead to losing your licence.

If you're receiving rent in return for accommodation you are a landlord. You may have lodgers living with you in your home, you may just be renting out a property until the housing market improves, but either way there are certain steps which you are legally required to take.

Viewings are really important so you'll want to ensure they run smoothly. Make sure the property seems inviting, but take care not to mislead the viewers and to give them plenty of time to make their minds up.

The custodial scheme is free for both landlords and tenants to use. There are strict time limits within which you must give the scheme administrator the deposit and a list of prescribed information. You must also provide the tenant with a list of required information within a set time limit. Failing to protect the deposit or provide the current information can lead to a fixed penalty or prosecution. Find out more about the requirements of the Custodial Scheme.

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