When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Paying for a home

This page only contains basic information and is the English version of our translated content.  For more detailed advice and information on housing in Northern Ireland in the English language, use the menu options on the homepage. 

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.

Get advice if you are in financial difficulties and struggling to pay these costs. The Housing Executive has a legal duty to give housing advice and information on preventing homelessness to anyone who asks in Northern Ireland.

Most landlords will ask for a deposit before you move into the property. A deposit is usually a month’s rent in advance and gives the landlord security in case of damage, theft or rent arrears. If you paid your deposit on or after 1 April 2013 your landlord must register the deposit in an authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme which has been approved by the Department for Communities

Landlords or agents usually ask tenants to pay rent at the beginning of every month. When taking up a new tenancy, this means the first month's rent will have to be paid in addition to the deposit.

Rent usually only covers the amount your landlord charges you for living in the property. Sometimes your rent also includes money for other things such as bills or maintenance. This is called inclusive rent.

If you are on a low income, you may be able to get housing benefit to help cover your housing costs.

It can often be difficult dealing with a debt problem, but most debts can usually be sorted out with planning and creating a step-by-step approach to managing your finances.