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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Protected tenancy

Protected tenancies are a type of rent-controlled tenancy. You could be a protected tenant and not be aware of this fact. If you are a protected tenant, the amount of rent that your landlord can legally charge you is restricted. The rights of protected tenants are guaranteed by law and cannot be overridden by the terms of a tenancy agreement.

You may be a protected tenant if you have been living in the same property since before 1 April 2007 and the property you are living in is, or was on 1 April 2007, in a poor state of repair. If you're not sure whether you're a protected tenant or not, there are a number of ways to find out.

The Rent Officer for Northern Ireland is responsible for setting rents on rent controlled and protected tenancies. If your landlord is charging more than the Rent Officer has allowed, you could be entitled to have this money back.

Protected tenants have greater rights to stay on in a property than other tenants. You may be entitled to stay in the property for the rest of your life. Responsibility for repairs in protected tenancies may depend on whether you have a tenancy agreement or not.

Your landlord must be very careful when trying to evict your from a protected tenancy. Unless the landlord can prove that certain criteria apply to your tenancy, any eviction could be illegal.

Protected tenants who claim housing benefit will only receive £1 per week from the Housing Executive. Your landlord cannot ask you to pay any additional money on top of this, unless the landlord can prove to the Housing Executive that the tenancy is not, in fact, protected.