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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Housing options

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

If you are interested in buying a new build home, but don't have enough money saved up for a deposit yet you should look into the Rent to Own scheme for Northern Ireland. It gives potential purchasers a three year tenancy of a new build property and then issues a 20% rent rebate to the tenant if the tenant decides to buy the property at the end of their tenancy.

It can be difficult living with your parents or guardians, particularly if you feel like you're old enough now to live on your own. However, living on your own is expensive and difficult. Work out if it's easier to resolve your problems at home or if you're ready to move out on your own.

You can apply for a home with the Housing Executive or a housing association by filling in an application form. There are lots of people on the waiting list and they are ranked according to how badly they need to be rehoused. Your ranking depends on how many points you are awarded using the criteria set out in the Common Housing Selection Scheme.

Most students who aren’t living at home will either move into housing provided by their college or university or find somewhere to rent privately. Check the college’s website or prospectus for information on the housing options it provides.

Because of the shortage of social housing some people will wait a very long time before they get offered a property. You could have a long wait, even if you passed the 4 homeless tests and are legally homeless.

Renting privately can be a great option for many people. There is a wide range of rented property available. Make sure you know what type of property you need and what area you would like to live in.

Squatters are people who occupy and live in a property despite having no legal right to live there. It’s not a realistic housing option because squatters can easily be evicted.

The Housing Executive doesn’t have to find you housing if you don’t pass all 4 homeless tests. It may be worthwhile having the Housing Executive’s decision reviewed. Otherwise, you’ll have to look at other housing options.

You can start your research by checking out property websites online. This will give you an idea of the properties within your budget that are available in your area. Visit estate agents in the area that you want to live in, but remember that agents are working on the seller’s behalf and are trying to get the highest possible price for the property.

You are entitled to 3 reasonable offers of accommodation. When you get an offer you'll have an opportunity to view the property. Your offer letter should explain how much you'll have to pay for the property.

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