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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Private tenant

Protected tenants have greater rights to stay on in a property than other tenants. You may be entitled to stay in the property for the rest of your life. Responsibility for repairs in protected tenancies may depend on whether you have a tenancy agreement or not.

Things can go wrong with your housing benefit claim. If you were getting Housing Benefit when you shouldn’t have been, you’ll have to pay this money back. You could also have problems if you have to pay rent on two homes for a while or have to leave your home temporarily.

Any term in a tenancy agreement has to be fair. 

An unfair term is not enforceable. This means you do not have to stick to it and the landlord cannot use it to take legal action against you. 

As with all private tenants, you have certain responsibilities when you live in shared housing

Problems can occur when you share your home with other people, whether these are people you know really well or people you don't know at all. 

Renting privately can be a great option for many people. There is a wide range of rented property available. Make sure you know what type of property you need and what area you would like to live in.

Find out as early as possible who will be responsible for managing the property. You will usually be expected to report repairs and problems to the property manager, who can be the landlord or an appointed agent. Even though the property has been marketed by an agent, the landlord may not have contracted the agent to manage the property.

It can be tempting to stop paying rent if you feel the property you are renting is not up to standard or the landlord is not sticking to the tenancy agreement. This is a risky procedure as your landlord may try to evict you if you stop paying rent.

If you're renting a property as part of a group, you need to pay close attention to the tenancy agreement. The wording on this agreement can control what happens if one of the group moves out. In some cases, the rest of the tenants can be made responsible for paying the extra rent as well as any rent that the former tenant hasn't paid.

Your landlord must be very careful when trying to evict your from a protected tenancy. Unless the landlord can prove that certain criteria apply to your tenancy, any eviction could be illegal.

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