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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Possession order

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 will normally only be able to stop the repossession if you can pay the arrears off in a lump sum or in acceptable instalments. However, there are a few legal defences that could help your case.

Get help if you're having problems paying your mortgage. Our friendly, free and confidential advice service can explain your options. While it's never too late to get advice, the sooner you contact us, the more we can usually do to help. Call our helpline on 028 9024 5640

You can be allowed to stay in your home after a repossession hearing. This may be because there wasn't a good enough reason to repossess the home or because the Master believed you should be allowed to stay to give you time to put the situation right.

You should only give back the keys to your property if you're absolutely sure that there's no way you can keep your home. Make sure you speak to an adviser at our Mortgage Debt Advice Service before you take this drastic step.

If your home is repossessed you will need to find somewhere else to live. If you lost your home because of debt problems it may be more difficult to find a place to rent or buy.

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.

When your home is repossessed it is usually sold to pay off your debts. This will also happen if you hand over the keys to your home voluntarily. The money you get may not be enough to cover everything you owe.

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.

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