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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Rates

Almost everyone who lives in a property in Northern Ireland has to pay rates. Rates pay for services throughout Northern Ireland; like schools, hospitals and roads; and for services in your local area; like bin collection, parks and leisure centres. The amount you pay depends on the value of your property and which council area it is in. You can get help to pay your rates if you're on a low income or receiving certain benefits.

You have to pay rent to your landlord. You may be able to get help from benefits to pay this if you are on a low income. 

Most people have to pay rates on their homes. Land & Property Services is responsible for collecting this money and can take legal action against you if you don't pay. If you're on a low income you may be entitled to housing benefit or rate relief to help you pay the rates on your home.

Land & Property Services, (LPS) is the agency that collects rates. Your rate bill is based on your property's capital value and the council area you live in.

You may be able to get help to pay your rates bill.  There are 2 different benefits to help with rates:

  • housing benefit, including rate relief and
  • rates rebate.

If you qualify for the Disabled Person's Allowance or the Lone Pensioner Allowance you will get a discount on your rates bill.

You may be able to get a loan to help with your mortgage payments while you are in prison. But, this depends on what benefits you were claiming before you went in and on how long you'll be in prison for. Someone who was living with you may be able to claim help to pay the mortgage if you cannot. 

 

Owners of empty properties will receive a rates bill for the empty property each year. There are a few exceptions to this rule. 

You need permission to rent out your property if there is a mortgage or loan secured on it. You need

  • a buy-to-let mortgage, or
  • written permission to rent out the property from the lender.

Rates are a property tax. The money raised in rates helps to pay for all types of public services. Land & Property Services (LPS) is the agency responsible for collecting rates. Either the tenant or the landlord may have to pay rates in rented properties.

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