When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland


Property sales are either on a leasehold or freehold basis. When you buy a freehold property you own the property and the land it sits on. If your property is a leasehold property you’ll have to pay an annual charge, known as ground rent, to the person who owns the freehold.

The Housing Executive takes about 33 days to make a decision on whether or not it is responsible for rehousing you because you are homeless. It will look at your circumstances to see if you pass all 4 tests for homelessness. You need to make sure you give the Housing Executive all the information it needs in order for it to make the right decision.

These calculators will help you work out what you can afford to borrow, what your stamp duty will be and how your payments will change if the interest rate increases.   

Letters about your housing problems can be confusing.  This list explains some of the more complicated terms that might be in your letters in simple language.  

Please let us know if there are any other terms you'd like us to include on this page. 

If you have a disability, you may be entitled to some financial help with the costs of managing that disability. Personal Independence Payments, or PIP, is a new benefit which replaces Disability Living Allowance. 

PIP is not means-tested. This means that you can receive this benefit even if you have other income. Any PIP that you receive will not be counted as income when you are assessed for other benefits, like Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

You will not be eligible for help if the Housing Executive decides you’ve been involved in unacceptable behaviour. Unacceptable behaviour is the type of behaviour that would make someone a bad tenant and covers actions carried out by you, by other people in your household and by visitors to your property. The Housing Executive will usually only consider behaviour in the past two years, when deciding if you have behaved in an unacceptable manner and are, as such, ineligible for help.

If you aren’t already claiming Universal Credit, you will need to set up an account and start your claim. When you go through the online form, you will be asked about your housing costs.

Letting a room in your home to a lodger can be a good way to make extra money. However, you need to make sure that you've got permission to do this.

Whether you own your home or rent it, you need to have contents insurance. Homeowners will also need to have buildings insurance and may have to have life assurance as part of the conditions of their mortgage. Insurance protects you against risk. In return for this cover, you pay a premium to the insurance company. You can usually pay your premiums in a lump sum or in monthly deduction

Make sure you know where your land ends and your neighbour’s begins. Disputes over boundaries can cause formerly friendly relationships to sour.


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