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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Housing Association

You have to pay rent to your landlord. You may be able to get help from benefits to pay this if you are on a low income. 

Get advice as soon as possible if you can't pay. The Land & Property Services have a strict procedure for recovering rates arrears. There are strict time limits. If you contact your local Land & Property Services office, you may be able to negotiate a payment plan.

Your responsibilities are explained in your tenancy agreement and your tenancy handbook. Your landlord could try to end your tenancy if you aren't doing something you are responsible for.

Housing benefit can help some people to pay their rent and rates. The government is replacing housing benefit with Universal Credit. Most people who need to claim help to pay rent for the first time will claim Universal Credit instead of housing benefit. 

You can only make a new claim for housing benefit if you are of pension age or if you live in supported or temporary housing. 

You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if you are of pension age or if you are living in certain types of housing, such as supported housing or temporary housing. Most people who need to make a new claim for help to pay rent will have to claim Universal Credit. 

You have to pay rent to your landlord, whether that’s the Housing Executive, a housing association or a private landlord. When you’re offered a property you should be told how much the rent is and how much your rates and service charges are. If you're not given this information, make sure you ask for it before agreeing to take on a property.

You may be able to challenge or appeal a housing benefit decision if you think it is wrong or unfair. This can be a complicated process so it's best to get help from an advice agency.

You can make a new claim for housing benefit if you are a student and you have reached pension age. Younger students will only be able to claim housing benefit if

  • they are living in temporary or supported housing, and
  • they meet certain requirements. 

Some younger students may be able to claim Universal Credit, but this is not always possible. 

You will only be able to make a new claim for Housing Benefit if you are over pension age. Other people can get help to pay rent from Universal Credit. 

You can be evicted if you owe a lot of rent. Your landlord has to take you to court to evict you. They should only take you to court if all other ways of getting you to pay what you owe fail. Contact our helpline if you are finding it hard to pay your rent. 

 

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