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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. When you’re offered a Housing Executive or housing association property you should be told how much the weekly rent is.

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.

If you are paying off a mortgage and you are on remand, you may be able to get help with your repayments. You'll only get help towards the interest on your mortgage and you'll only get help for a certain amount of time.

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

Rates can cause a huge headache for landlords and tenants. Make sure you understand who is responsible for paying these from the outset.

If your property is still subject to a mortgage or secured loan, you are responsible for ensuring those payments are up to date. You should clearly explain to your tenant who is liable for rates payments and keep your rates account up to date if it is your legal responsibility to do so.

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