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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Rights of Housing Association tenants

Your rights as a Housing Assocation tenant should be explained in your tenancy agreement and your tenant handbook.  Housing associations are regulated by the Department of Communities in Northern Ireland and registered housing associations have to comply with the guidelines set out by this government department. 

The law gives housing association tenants certain rights. Secure tenants have more rights than introductory tenants. You are an introductory tenant for the first year of your tenancy. After 12 months you’ll become a secure tenant.

Secure Housing Executive (NIHE) and housing association tenants can apply for a transfer to a different NIHE or housing association property. 

Secure Housing Executive (NIHE) and housing association tenants can exchange their homes with other secure NIHE or housing association tenants as long as the landlords both agree. Introductory tenants can only exchange in rare circumstances. Speak to Housing Rights if you’re an introductory tenant who needs to swap.

Secure Housing Executive (NIHE) and housing association tenants have a right to buy the home they live in, as long as they and the property are eligible for the scheme. Housing association tenants must apply by 28 August 2022. 

Some tenants can pass their tenancy on, either while they are alive or after they have died. You need your landlord's permission for this.

You can add someone else to your tenancy. But, you need your landlord's permission to do this and your landlord can refuse in some circumstances. You don't have to add people who live with you to your tenancy.