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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Housing options

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Housing Executive will only have to help you if you couldn't have avoided becoming homeless. The Intentionality test looks at how you became homeless to see if you deliberately did something or failed to do something and that action caused your homelessness.. The other tests are priority need, homelessness and eligibility.

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.

The Housing Executive is responsible for providing accommodation for anyone who is legally homeless. To be legally homeless you have to pass 4 tests including the Eligibility test. The other tests are priority need, homelessness and intentionality. You may not be eligible if you are a person from abroad or if the Housing Executive decides you are guilty of unacceptable behaviour. You must also pass a similar eligibility test in order to claim Housing Benefit and Universal Credit.

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.

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