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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Homeowner

Almost everyone who lives in a property in Northern Ireland has to pay rates. Rates pay for services throughout Northern Ireland; like schools, hospitals and roads; and for services in your local area; like bin collection, parks and leisure centres. The amount you pay depends on the value of your property and which council area it is in. You can get help to pay your rates if you're on a low income or receiving certain benefits.

Certain people can apply for housing benefit and rate relief to help with rates. You can only make a new claim for this assistance if you are over pension age or get certain disability benefits. People who don't fit in these categories can get only get help with rates if they are receiving Universal Credit. 

There are many stages your lender must go through before you have to leave your home. The legal process can take a long time. Get advice as soon as possible and keep talking to your lender. It is still possible to save your home.

Housing benefit is a social security benefit which helps people on low income with their housing costs. It can cover rent, rates and some service charges. There are different systems for working out housing benefit for social tenants, who rent from the Housing Executive or housing associations, and for private tenants, who rent from a private landlord or agent. 

 

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.

If you are a homeowner, you can only be evicted if the court makes an order telling you to leave. This section explains what happens once your lender has applied to the court to evict you.

Get help if you're having problems paying your mortgage. Our friendly, free and confidential advice service can explain your options. While it's never too late to get advice, the sooner you contact us, the more we can usually do to help. Call our helpline on 028 9024 5640

Getting into difficulties with your mortgage payments is often easier than you think, so the sooner you tackle your financial problems, the better the result may be for you.

You will normally only be able to stop the repossession if you can pay the arrears off in a lump sum or in acceptable instalments. However, there are a few legal defences that could help your case.

Most people need to apply for a mortgage when they’re buying a home. This is a long term loan from a bank or building society. The loan is secured on your home so if you stop paying the bank can repossess the property. You should speak to an independent financial adviser to find out which type of mortgage is best for you.

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