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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Homeowner

Many builders provide structural guarantees for the first ten years after you buy your home. If any structural problems develop within that time, you won't have to pay for the repairs.

There are practical things that you can if you're having difficulties paying your mortgage. The most important of these is to get advice so you fully understand your options.

Squatters are people who occupy and live in a property despite having no legal right to live there. It’s not a realistic housing option because squatters can easily be evicted.

If your home has been damaged your insurance may cover the cost of repairs. Read your policy and make sure that the damage is covered. Your policy documents will tell you what to do if you need to make a claim.

If a loan has been secured on your home the lender can try to repossess the property if you don't pay the loan back.

Buying your own home is a huge financial commitment. It's important that you do your research and fully understand your options before you commit to anything. If you can't afford to pay the full purchase cost of a property you might be able to part buy and part rent the property with the help of Co-ownership Housing Association.

Areas with large numbers of houses in disrepair can be vested by the government. In Northern Ireland this work is normally done by the Housing Executive. This means that owners of these properties are legally required to sell them to the Housing Executive. The Housing Executive will buy these properties at their current market value and redevelop the area for social housing.

The key aspect of budgeting is being honest and realistic, whether you’re listing your income or your outgoings. A financial statement, containing a listing of your income and expenditure, is a starting point for dealing with debt and making a sustainable repayment proposal.

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.

An area scheduled for redevelopment can contain properties owned privately or properties owned by housing associations or the Housing Executive. At least one third of the properties in a redevelopment area must be considered to be unfit for human habitation.

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