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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Choosing tenants

This page is for landlords operating in Northern Ireland.  You can find advice for tenants elsewhere on our website. Private landlords in Northern Ireland can call Landlord Advice on 028 9024 5640 and choosing option 5. 

People who are interested in moving in to your property will probably start to contact you as soon as you've advertised the letting. An agent will usually find tenants for your property for an agreed fee, but there are some things you should consider if you decide to go it alone.

Viewings are really important so you'll want to ensure they run smoothly. Make sure the property seems inviting, but take care not to mislead the viewers and to give them plenty of time to make their minds up.

As a landlord, you are free to let your property to anyone you wish. However, there are laws which prevent you from discriminating against potential tenants because of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability. You must make sure that you treat all applicants in the same manner.

Some landlords will ask tenants to supply a reference. If the tenant can't provide a reference, landlords may ask for a guarantor. If you decide to ask tenants to undergo a credit check you can ask them to pay the cost of this. However, you cannot charge tenants excessive fees for this service. You cannot carry out a credit check without the tenant's consent.