There are a range of organisations which provide advice, guidance and assistance on matters which affect private tenants. If you're experiencing a problem in your rented accommodation, it's essential that you get advice.
Talk to your local council's Environmental Health Department if you're worried about fitness or your landlord has failed to carry out her/his legal duties. If you're not sure which council boundary your home is in, check on NISRA's website.
The following organisations are all involved with housing in Northern Ireland. Some provide advice, while others are public bodies.
|Housing Rights||Provides advice on housing issues as well as training, legal information and policy work|
|Northern Ireland Housing Executive||Provides advice and assistance on homelessness and can deal with your housing benefit claims|
|NI Federation of Housing Associations||Contains a database of housing association accommodation in Northern Ireland|
|Department for Communities||Government department responsible for looking after the private rental sector in Northern Ireland|
|Smartmove||Works in partnership with landlords to provide affordable rented accommodation to homeless people|
|Simon Community||Provides support to homeless people and can sometimes provide a written guarantee to cover your deposit|
|Co-ownership Housing||A shared ownership scheme that makes purchasing your own home more affordable|
|Land and Property Services||The public body that deals with rates on domestic properties|
|The Property Ombudsman||A voluntary ombudsman scheme that can help with complaints against member estate and letting agents|
|Gas Safe Register||List of registered engineers who are authorised to carry out checks on gas appliances|
Help with benefits and welfare
Understanding your entitlement to benefits can help ease the burden of debt and housing problems. These organisations and websites can help you understand what benefits you are entitled to.
|Citizens Advice Bureau||Your local CAB can find out if you are entitled to any benefits and how much you are likely to get|
|QuickCalc||An online tool which gives you an idea of how much housing benefit you may be entitled to|
|NIDirect||A government website that contains general information on benefits|
|Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre||Provides advice on welfare rights|
|Queens' Students' Union||Advice and assistance on welfare issues for students of Queen's university|
|UU Students' Union||Advice and assistance on welfare issues for students of the University of Ulster|
Moving into a new property can be expensive. You will usually have to pay a deposit and a month's rent in advance and you may have to purchase furniture for your home.
|Social fund||If you are on certain qualifying benefits, you may be able to get a budgeting loan from the Social Fund|
|Re:Furb||A project which recycles and restores second hand furniture|
|Bryson Electrical Recycling||A project which recyles and resells second hand electrical goods|