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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Court

Your social tenancy can end if

  • your landlord evicts you
  • your landlord decides you aren't living in the property and takes it back, or
  • you end your own tenancy

You may be able to ask for a judicial review if you're unhappy with how a public body has made a decision. This can be a long and expensive process and there's no guarantee that the decision will be changed. You'll need legal advice if you want to apply for a judicial review. Speak to an independent advice agency who may be able to refer you to the Law Centre for more assistance.

The courts may be able to help sort out some housing problems. Most court cases that deal with housing are civil matters, but criminal courts can also hear housing related cases as long as a criminal law is alleged to have been broken. 

Court action can be expensive and you may have to pay fees. If you win your case the judge may order the other side to pay some or all of your costs. If you lose your case, you could end up having to pay for the other person's legal costs as well as your own fees and any damages the judge awards. You might be able to get financial help with the costs of legal action through Legal Aid.

You can use the Small Claims Court to take legal action against someone if you are claiming less than £3000. You don't need a solicitor to go to Small Claims Court so the costs are much lower than the costs for other types of legal action.

You may need to go to court to resolve a housing problem you're having. The type of court you use will depend on your case. You will need a solicitor to help you with most court cases, but you don't need one for Small Claims Court.

Protected tenants have greater rights to stay on in a property than other tenants. You may be entitled to stay in the property for the rest of your life. Responsibility for repairs in protected tenancies may depend on whether you have a tenancy agreement or not.

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