When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Rate relief and housing benefit for rates

You can apply for housing benefit and  rate relief to help with rates.  Tenants who are applying for housing benefit should mark on the form that they have to pay rates.  The Housing Executive will manage the claim for rates and rent together.  If you are a co-ownership tenant and own part of your home, you should apply to the Housing Executive for help with rates. 

Housing benefit for homeowners

Homeowners need to complete a different form to get housing benefit for rates.  These claims are managed by Land & Property Services.  Not everyone is entitled to housing benefit, but it’s worth putting in a claim, especially if you’re on a low income.

If you’re not entitled to housing benefit, you might still get some help through the Rate Relief scheme.

Rate relief

If you don’t qualify for housing benefit or you only get a small amount, you might be entitled to rate relief.

  • Tenants should apply to the Housing Executive for rates relief. 
  • Co-ownership tenants who only own a share in the property should apply to the Housing Executive for rates relief.
  • Homeowners can apply to Land & Property Services for rate relief.

When you claim housing benefit, your entitlement starts to drop if you have savings or assets of over £6,000 and stops altogether if your savings or assets are worth over £16,000. The savings and capital limits are a little higher for rate relief.  £10,000 of capital or savings will be ignored for those under state pension age and £50,000 will be ignored for ratepayers over 60 or in receipt of the guarantee element of pension credit. 

If you have savings or capital above these thresholds the amount of relief you get will reduce.  If you’re under 60 and have savings or capital valued at more than £50,000 you won’t be entitled to any relief even if you are on a low income.

Applying to Land & Property Services

If you own your home, complete the Housing Benefit/Rate Relief application form.  Make sure you read the guidance notes carefully before you fill in the form and return it to Land & Property Services.

Land & Property Services will work out whether you’re entitled to Housing Benefit or Rate Relief. If you’re having difficulties completing the form you can call Land & Property Services on 0845 300 636