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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Discounts on rates for rental properties

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 get advice by calling 028 9024 5640 and choosing option 5. 

There are discounts available to landlords who accept responsibility for rates on more than one rental property.

Eligibility for discount

To qualify for either account you must:

  • own two or more rental properties for which you are legally liable for rates or you have accepted liability for rates
  • agree to pay your total annual rates bill in one single payment
  • agree to pay your total annual rates bill by 30 September each year.

Depending on the capital value of your rental properties, you can apply for either an Article 20 account or an Article 21 account.

  • If the capital value of all your rental properties is over £150,000 you can only apply for the Article 21 account
  • If the capital value of all your rental properties is over £150,000 but these properties are classed as Houses in Multiple Occupation you can apply for either account
  • If the capital value of all your rental properties is £150,000 or less you can apply for either account.

Article 20 account

An Article 20 account will grant you a 10% discount on the total annual rates bill for your rental property portfolio. The following conditions apply.

  • You will be expected to pay 100% of rates due on any vacant properties, unless the property is excluded from rating.
  • To qualify for the discount, you must pay your full rates bill in one single annual payment. If you choose to pay by direct debit instalments, you will not be entitled to a discount.
  • To qualify for the discount Land and Property Services (LPS) must have received your payment by 30 September.
  • You cannot include your own residential property or any holiday home in your rental portfolio.

Article 21 account

An Article 21 account will grant you a 10% discount on the total annual rates bill for your rental property portfolio. The following conditions apply:

  • To qualify for the discount, you must pay your full rates bill in one single annual payment. If you choose to pay by direct debit instalments, you will not be entitled to a discount.
  • To qualify for the discount LPS must have received your payment by 30 September.
  • You cannot include your own residential property or any holiday home in your rental portfolio
  • Vacant properties are eligible for the discount.

Applying for a discount account

To apply for either account, you must fill in the appropriate form, which you can download from NI Direct. LPS will examine your application and decide whether you qualify for the discount.

If you meet the eligibility criteria LPS will amend your rate account and assign it "agent status". All your rental properties will be bundled under one account. You can add or remove properties to your agent account. If this is done after 30 September, you will be issued with a revised bill

Paying your rates bill

If you have either an Article 20 or Article 21 account, you must pay your rates bill in a single payment by the 30 September to qualify for the discount.

You can pay by:

  • direct debit
  • cheque at LPS offices
  • BACS

If you do not pay your rates bill, you may be taken to court by LPS.