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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Links for private tenants

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.

Councils

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.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council

Ards and North Down Borough Council

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council

Belfast City Council

Causeway Coast and Glens District Council

Derry City and Strabane District Council

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

Mid Ulster District Council

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

The following organisations are all involved with housing in Northern Ireland.  Some provide advice, while others are public bodies.

Housing issues

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

Financial support

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