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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Eviction

Your landlord can only end your tenancy by following the correct process. Secure Housing Executive and housing association tenants can only be evicted if a court believes that they have broken the tenancy agreements. It's easier for a landlord to evict an introductory tenant, but the landlord still has to get a court order. Think carefully and get advice before you take any action to end your tenancy. It can be difficult to get a new social tenancy if you've given one up.

You could lose your home if you don’t pay your rent. Your landlord, whether it’s the Housing Executive or a housing association will have to follow the proper procedure before this happens. Part of this procedure is to work with you to try to sort out the problem.

Housing associations and the Housing Executive can end a tenancy without going to court if they suspect that a property has been abandoned, but the correct procedure has to be followed. If you're worried about eviction you should speak to someone urgently. Advisers at Housing Rights may be able to help you stay in your home.

Housing Executive and housing association tenants should only be evicted as a last resort. Your landlord should work with you to try and resolve any problems and should only decide to go to court to evict you if all other attempts to sort out the problem have failed.

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

If you haven’t been a Housing Executive (NIHE) or housing association tenant for the last year, you’ll probably be an introductory tenant. After 12 months you’ll become a secure tenant and it will be more difficult to evict you.

The Housing Executive and housing associations should only evict tenants as a last resort. These landlords will usually only start legal action to evict if other ways of sorting out any problems have failed.

A social landlord can end your tenancy if they think you are not living in the property. This is called "abandonment". 

The landlord does not have to go to court but they do have to follow the proper process. The process is only for social landlords. Private landlords must go to court to end your tenancy unless you have confirmed that you have moved out.

You need to know whether you are going to be a tenant who will be protected in law or a licensee who has very few rights in law. It's important that you understand your legal status in your new home.

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.

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