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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Homeowner

It's essential that you get help and advice if you're struggling to pay your mortgage. The sooner you start dealing with your mortgage debts, the more options you'll usually have. If you ignore the problem it becomes harder to manage and you could end up losing your home.

It's essential that you get help and advice if you're struggling to pay your mortgage. The sooner you start dealing with your mortgage debts, the more options you'll usually have. If you ignore the problem it becomes harder to manage and you could end up losing your home.

Buying your own home is a huge financial commitment. It's important that you do your research and fully understand your options before you commit to anything. If you can't afford to pay the full purchase cost of a property you might be able to part buy and part rent the property with the help of Co-ownership Housing Association.

You can be asked to appear at court if you fall behind on your mortgage. Getting a summons to appear in court doesn't mean that you'll lose your home. There are a number of decisions that the judge at court can make. Our advisers at Housing Rights may be able to represent you at your court hearing.

Most people need to apply for a mortgage when they’re buying a home. This is a long term loan from a bank or building society. The loan is secured on your home so if you stop paying the bank can repossess the property. You should speak to an independent financial adviser to find out which type of mortgage is best for you.

Estate agents and letting agents will often have their own complaints process. Many agents belong to a professional redress scheme which may be able to sort out problems if you're unhappy with the service you've been given by your agent.

Almost everyone who lives in a property in Northern Ireland has to pay rates. Rates pay for services throughout Northern Ireland; like schools, hospitals and roads; and for services in your local area; like bin collection, parks and leisure centres. The amount you pay depends on the value of your property and which council area it is in. You can get help to pay your rates if you're on a low income or receiving certain benefits.

Selling a home that you and your former partner jointly own can be complicated. You'll usually need to get legal advice from a solicitor who can explain what will happen to the property.

You may be entitled to compensation if you have to leave your home because the area its based in is scheduled to be redeveloped. Homeowners will be paid the current market value for their home and you might also be entitled to compensation for the disturbance. The Housing Executive should rehouse you if you can no longer live in your home because it is in a redevelopment area.

If your current housing situation doesn't suit your needs it's natural to think you might have to move. But, with the right help and support, you may be able to continue living in your current home. While housing waiting lists are so long and renting privately can be expensive it's worth checking if you can do something practical to allow you to continue living where you are.

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