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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Repairs

You should give your landlord a reasonable amount of time to carry out repairs. If you are having difficulty contacting your landlord or your landlord has refused to carry out essential repairs you may be able to get help from your local council.

You can complain if the Housing Executive refuses to carry out repairs which it is responsible for or if you are unhappy with the standard of work carried out.

Housing Executive tenants have rights which are set out in law. You are an introductory tenant for the first year of your tenancy. After 12 months you’ll become a secure tenant. Secure tenants have stronger rights than introductory tenants.

Your housing association must make sure that your home is safe to live in. Your tenancy agreement should explain whether you or your housing association is responsible for repairs. Ask your landlord for a copy of your agreement if you don’t already have one.

Getting repairs carried out can be a messy business. If the interior of your home is damaged by contractors carrying out repair or improvement work you could be entitled to compensation.

Most housing associations have a Right to Repair scheme for their tenants. The point of these schemes is to make sure that tenants can get low cost, urgent repairs done quickly.

You’ll be responsible for dealing with many of the repairing issues in your home. Tenants are responsible for decorating the inside of the property, including carpeting and flooring and you’ll also be responsible for looking after your garden. Your landlord will usually deal with any structural problems or faults with the heating, plumbing and electrical systems.

You are usually responsible for carrying out any repairs or improvements once you have bought your home. It's very difficult to get grant approval from the Housing Executive to help you with the cost of repairs. These days, this type of grant will only be awarded if the Housing Executive believes the condition of the property is likely to cause a very real and very serious risk to the life of the person living in it.

Getting repairs carried out can be a messy business. If the interior of your home is damaged by contractors carrying out repair or improvement work you could be entitled to compensation.

Your lease will outline whether the freeholder has any responsibility for repairs. If you own a leasehold flat the freeholder may be responsible for repairs to the structure of the building, or shared areas. If you own a leasehold house it is unlikely that your freeholder will be responsible for repairs.

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