phoneTwitterFacebook
ear
 
When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Rates

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Certain people can apply for housing benefit and rate relief to help with rates. You can only make a new claim for this assistance if you are over pension age or get certain disability benefits. People who don't fit in these categories can get only get help with rates if they are receiving Universal Credit. 

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

A set of rules is used to work out how much help private tenants can get with their rent. These rules are known as Local Housing Allowance and are used by Universal Credit and Housing Benefit.  The LHA rules have been used since April 2008. Almost all private tenants have their rent help worked out under this system, but there are a few exceptions. 

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.

If you own a property you'll normally have to pay rates on it, even if the property is empty. You'll get a rates bill for the empty property automatically and you won't be entitled to an early payment discount. Some empty properties can be excluded from the rating system. It's worth checking to see if you can apply for an exclusion.

The amount of benefits you will get depends on your personal circumstances, such as your income and savings, the size of your household and the area you live/wish to live in.

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.

Depending on the value of the property either the landlord or the tenant can be held liable for rates in a rented property. You should be very clear on who is liable for rates and should have procedures in place to ensure that these are paid. Rates must also be paid on properties which are vacant.

If you are liable for rates on your rental properties, you must ensure that payment is made promptly to LPS. Where the tenants are liable for rates, payment is there responsibility and there is no risk to you if the tenants do not pay the bills.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Rates Subscribe to Rates