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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Enforcement of Judgements Office

You should only give back the keys to your property if you're absolutely sure that there's no way you can keep your home. Make sure you speak to an adviser at our Mortgage Debt Advice Service before you take this drastic step.

If the Chancery Master grants your lender possession, the lender has to apply to the Enforcement of Judgments Office to enforce the court's decision. Even at this late stage, you may be able to avoid having to leave your home if you can come up with a realistic proposal of repaying the money owed.

You must follow due process of law when evicting a tenant. If you aren't careful in following the correct legal procedure you could be found guilty of carrying out an illegal eviction.

You can’t simply decide to leave a property and move out immediately. By law, you have to give your landlord a fixed period of written notice informing him or her of your intention to quit the property. This is known as a Notice to Quit. Your landlord also has to provide you with notice if he or she wants you to move out.

Your landlord may have a mortgage or secured loan on the property you are living in. If the landlord falls into arrears on these loans, your home could be at risk. You may have limited rights to stay in the property on a short term basis, but it is unlikely you will be able to stay there long term.

You can be allowed to stay in your home after a repossession hearing. This may be because there wasn't a good enough reason to repossess the home or because the Master believed you should be allowed to stay to give you time to put the situation right.

Once the court reached a decision that you have to leave your home, your lender must apply to the Enforcement of Judgements Office to enforce the decision. You will have to pay the Enforcement of Judgements Office fees. These will probably be added to the balance owed on your mortgage.

If your home is repossessed you will need to find somewhere else to live. If you lost your home because of debt problems it may be more difficult to find a place to rent or buy.

There are a few different things that can happen if you have to go to court for a possession hearing.

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