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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Tenancy agreement

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

If you live in a caravan or a mobile home that is situated on a residential site you have certain rights which are protected by law. These rights will only apply if you live in the caravan as your main home and you’ve been living on the site for at least 12 months. This law won’t protect you if your caravan is only for holidays or you live on a site that’s mainly meant for holiday usage.

Once you sign a tenancy agreement, you will usually be expected to keep to the conditions of the agreement until it ends. It's important that you check a few things out before you sign and don't let yourself be rushed into anything.

It's important to be aware of your responsibilities to your landlord. While many of these responsibilities will be explained in your tenancy agreement, there are also certain responsibilities which are outlined in law.

Landlords in Northern Ireland are not obliged to give tenants a tenancy agreement. However, it’s a good idea to ask for a written tenancy agreement so both you and your landlord fully understand your obligations and your rights. A tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract. Once you have signed this document, you have committed to pay the rent for the full term of the contract.

You need to know whether you are going to be a tenant who will be protected in law or a licensee who has very few rights in law. It's important that you understand your legal status in your new home.

Your tenancy agreement should include certain key terms, including information about the property, the tenancy, rent and other payments, repairs and your use of the property.

In an emergency, you can enter the rented property to secure it or make it safe for others. However, you cannot usually enter the property without the prior consent of your tenants.

At some point in your tenancy, something in the property will probably need to be repaired. Your tenancy agreement should explain what type of repairs your landlord is responsible for and what repairs you are expected to carry out yourself.

Any term in a consumer contract must be fair.  This rule also applies to tenancy agreements.  The Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 explain the types of terms that may be considered unfair.

 

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