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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Environmental health

At some point in your tenancy, something in the property will probably need to be repaired. Your tenancy agreement should explain what type of repairs your landlord is responsible for and what repairs you are expected to carry out yourself.

There is a fitness standard that all privately rented accommodation must meet. If the state of your home is making you ill or causing a public health issue, there are agencies you can contact who can make your landlord carry out repairs. The fitness standard is quite low so often only homes in serious disrepair will fail to meet this.

You should give your landlord a reasonable amount of time to carry out repairs. If you are having difficulty contacting your landlord or your landlord has refused to carry out essential repairs you may be able to get help from your local council.

You should report any damage or disrepair to your landlord immediately. It's always a good idea to follow up any reports you make over the phone or in person with a letter so both you and your landlord have a record of any work that needs to be done.

A landlord who continually acts in a way that is designed to make a tenant leave the property could be guilty of harassment

You must supply all tenants with certain information relating to their tenancy. Failure to supply these documents, in the correct format, within a specified period of time can result in a conviction and fine.

Help is available from the environmental health department of your local council. Harassment is illegal, but it is important to be aware that your landlord could try to evict you to punish you for reporting him or her. Your landlord will have to follow the correct legal procedure if he wants to do this.

Your landlord must follow the correct legal procedure in order to evict you. On rare occasions, a landlord may try to force you out of the property or change the locks while you are out. This is an illegal eviction and your landlord can be prosecuted for this action.

When you rent a property it becomes your home. Your landlord must respect that the property is your home and must observe the proper legal procedures when entering the property or trying to reclaim possession of it.

It can be tempting to stop paying rent if you feel the property you are renting is not up to standard or the landlord is not sticking to the tenancy agreement. This is a risky procedure as your landlord may try to evict you if you stop paying rent.

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