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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Tenancy agreement

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.

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.

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.

There are a number of places you can find advertisements for rooms in shared properties. It’s very difficult to get out of a tenancy agreement once you’ve signed a contract so you should make sure that you’re happy with the accommodation and your flatmates before you sign.

Your tenancy agreement is a legal contract and you are bound by the agreement until it expires.  If you leave before the contract expires, your landlord can sue you for any outstanding rent. However, the landlord is bound by the contract in the same way that you are.  If you feel the landlord has materially breached the agreement, you can use this argument to defend yourself at court.

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.

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.

You don't have a right to a tenancy agreement. A landlord only has to provide a written tenancy agreement if the tenancy is due to last for longer than one year. If you don't have a tenancy agreement, you have basic rights that have been set out in law. 

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