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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Service charges

The Housing Executive uses hostels as temporary housing. There are different types of homeless hostels. 

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. 

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.

When a rental property is contained in an apartment block or housing development, either the tenant or the landlord may be expected to pay an annual service charge. This charge will usually cover maintenance and repair work in communal areas.

Property sales are either on a leasehold or freehold basis. When you buy a freehold property you own the property and the land it sits on. If your property is a leasehold property you’ll have to pay an annual charge, known as ground rent, to the person who owns the freehold.

You have to pay rent to your landlord, whether that’s the Housing Executive, a housing association or a private landlord. When you’re offered a property you should be told how much the rent is and how much your rates and service charges are. If you're not given this information, make sure you ask for it before agreeing to take on a property.

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