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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Private tenant

It's important to be aware of your responsibilities to your landlord. While many of these responsibilities will be explained in your tenancy agreement, there are also certain responsibilities which are outlined in law.

Make sure to read your tenancy agreement. Only sign it if you understand all the terms and you are happy to agree with these. You can ask to change the terms in the contract if you don't agree with them. Don't sign the contract until you are happy with it.

Tenants living in a HMO have the same right as any other tenant. The landlord is required to follow the correct legal process in order to evict you. This applies even if the landlord has been told by the council that the property is not properly licensed as a HMO. 

Once you sign a tenancy agreement, you will usually be expected to keep to the conditions of the agreement until it ends. It's important that you check a few things out before you sign and don't let yourself be rushed into anything.

There are a few important pieces of paperwork that you'll need to keep safe once you become a tenant. You will usually be asked to sign a tenancy agreement, but this is not always the case. If you do sign a tenancy agreement, make sure you get a signed copy.

As a tenant you pay rent to your landlord in return for living in your home. In certain circumstances it is possible for landlords to increase the rent. This section explains when and how rent can be increased and what you can do if you disagree with the rent increase.

Renting a home on your own is expensive. It might be more affordable to move in with friends, family members or even strangers. This will make things cheaper but can bring its own problems so you need to think about the practical arrangements of living with others.

Your landlord may have a mortgage or secured loan on the property you are living in. If the landlord falls into arrears on these loans, your home could be at risk. You may have limited rights to stay in the property on a short term basis, but it is unlikely you will be able to stay there long term.

It can be hard to know what to do if you split up or fall out with someone you're living with. Your rights in this situation depend on your status and what your tenancy agreement says. Your rights depend on the type of tenancy you have. If you're experiencing domestic violence or you feel unsafe in your home get advice immediately.

A tenancy agreement is a legal contract. It's very hard to get out of a tenancy agreement early. It's best to negotiate with your landlord to see if they will let you leave early. 

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