When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland


These pages have been translated into Polish, Portuguese, Lithuanian, Slovak, Russian, Romanian, BulgarianFrench, Mandarin and Cantonese. They provide a brief description of housing issues that affect foreign nationals living in Northern Ireland.  

If you’re renting a property, you have to pay rent to the landlord. You can be evicted if you don’t pay the rent. In most cases, you also need to give the landlord a deposit prior to starting your tenancy and many private landlords require that the month's rent be paid at the beginning of the month.

In Northern Ireland, you have four main housing options: renting privately, buying a property, moving into accommodation supplied as part of your job or getting social housing from the Housing Executive or a housing association. There are restrictions on certain people from outside the UK.

If you rent your accommodation from a private landlord, you rent privately and become either a "tenant" or a "licensee".

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are properties shared by tenants who aren't members of the same family. There are special rules for your home if you live in a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).


Tied accommodation is accommodation that is provided as a part of a person's job and is conditioned by the worker's continued employment with his/her employer. If you live in tied accommodation, you will generally lose the right to remain in the property if you lose your job.

The Housing Executive has a duty to provide advice on homelessness and its prevention to anyone in Northern Ireland who asks for it. The Housing Executive must help you if it thinks you are homeless, or about to become homeless in the next 28 days.

You have a right to enjoy your home safely and peacefully. If you feel that you are being harassed, seek help and advice about how to protect your rights.

Problems in your neighbourhood can range from barking dogs to serious antisocial behaviour such as vandalism. Generally speaking, any behaviour that inflicts problems and disruption on individual families or wider communities may constitute unacceptable behaviour and, in some cases, antisocial activity.

If you moved to Northern Ireland in order to take up work, you have joined a growing population of migrant workers living and working in Northern Ireland.

If you are a tenant, you can only be evicted if your landlord gives you at least 28 days' notice to quit and gets a possession order from the court. If your landlord has evicted you without following the correct procedure, this may be illegal.

Intimidation is a criminal offence. If you have been intimidated or attacked in your home, you may be able to get help from the Housing Executive.

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