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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Social housing

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.

Asylum seekers can’t usually apply for social housing, and some other people can also be prevented from applying. If you, or someone who is part of your application has done certain things in the last 2 years, like been evicted, abandoned a property, owed rent or lied on an application form, you can be disqualified from applying.

Your Tenant’s Handbook should explain whether you or the Housing Executive is responsible for repairs.  Ask your local district office for a copy of the handbook if you don’t already have one.

When you apply for social housing you’ll have to choose 2 areas where you’d like to live. Most people can choose any areas they want but there are restrictions on some people.

The Housing Executive and housing associations have a number of responsibilities to their tenants. If you’re not happy with your landlord's service you can use the complaints procedure.

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. The Housing Executive will usually deal with any structural problems or faults with the heating, plumbing and electrical systems.

The Right to Repair Scheme was set up to make sure that Housing Executive tenants get emergency and urgent repairs carried out within an acceptable timeframe. The Self Help scheme allows tenants to arrange for a private contractor to carry out certain repairs which the Housing Executive will then pay for.

Because of the shortage of social housing some people will wait a very long time before they get offered a property. You could have a long wait, even if you passed the 4 homeless tests and are legally homeless.

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.

Asylum seekers can’t usually apply for social housing, and some other people can also be prevented from applying. If you, or someone who is part of your application has done certain things in the last 2 years, like been evicted, abandoned a property, owed rent or lied on an application form, you can be disqualified from applying.

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