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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Housing Executive

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.

You can make a formal complaint if you are unhappy with a decision the Housing Executive has made or how the Housing Executive has treated you or your case. You need to use a different procedure to challenge a housing benefit decision, challenge a decision about your homelessness or appeal a decision to end your introductory tenancy.

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 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. 

Your social tenancy can end if

  • your landlord evicts you
  • your landlord decides you aren't living in the property and takes it back, or
  • you end your own tenancy

Your tenancy agreement and tenant handbook should explain whether you or the Housing Executive is responsible for repairs.  Ask your local office for a copy of these documents if you can't find your copies.

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. 

The amount of housing benefit you’ll get to help with your rent depends on your personal circumstances. There are different systems for calculating housing benefit for private tenants and for housing association or Housing Executive tenants.

Secure Housing Executive (NIHE) and housing association tenants can apply for a transfer to a different NIHE or housing association property. 

You are responsible for fixing some things in your home. The Housing Executive has to fix others.

Your tenancy agreement should explain who deals with different issues.

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