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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Housing options

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.

When you start looking for a property, you should be sure about what you want and what you can afford. There are lots of different ways to find rented accommodation in Northern Ireland.

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.

Hostels, nightshelters and foyers are types of temporary accommodation for homeless people. You need a referral from the Housing Executive or Social Services to get a place in some hostels , but there are others that can give you a room or a bed for the night you without a referral. 

It is essential that you view any property before you decide to rent it. Once you've signed a tenancy agreement, you are bound by its terms and it can be very difficult to get out of the agreement. Don't let yourself be won over by nice decoration and agent patter.

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.

Problems can crop up at any stage of selling your home, particularly if you are in a chain.

Once you’ve found a property you like you’ll need to make an offer, arrange a mortgage and appoint a solicitor to help you complete the process.

There are a lot of hidden costs when you’re buying a house and it can be a long and sometimes frustrating process. You’ll be asked to pay various fees and charges and you need to budget for these.

You're only entitled to 3 reasonable offers. If you're offered a property that you don't want you'll lose one of these offers unless you can show the Housing Executive or housing association that the offer wasn't reasonable. How you challenge the decision depends on whether you've passed the 4 homelessness tests of not.

Tenancy and floating support services can help you manage in your home. Many of these services are funded through the Housing Executive’s Supporting People programme.

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