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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Avoiding homelessness

Get advice immediately if you think you might become homeless.  The Housing Executive has a legal responsibility to give you advice and information on homelessness or you can speak to our advisers at Housing RightsWith the right help, you may be able to stay in or return to your home. 

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.

Young people, and especially young people leaving care, can be at an increased risk of homelessness and of being exploited because they are homeless. Social Services and the Housing Executive share responsibility for looking after young people who are homeless. There are different responsibilities, depending on your age and how long you've been in care, but these organisations should work together to find you somewhere to live.

Speak to someone urgently if you’re being abused in your home. Call Women's Aid for help and support on 0808 802 1414. Women’s Aid is the number one charity that helps people affected by domestic abuse. It provides help, advice and counselling to men and women. In an emergency call 999 for help.

When a relationship fails you might not want to continue living together. Your rights to stay in your home often depend on whether you own or rent your home and what kind of tenant you are.

Your landlord must follow the correct legal process in order to evict you. If you have a fixed term agreement, your landlord will have to have a reason to evict you. However, if you're a periodic tenant your landlord simply has to follow the correct legal process.

If the Chancery Master grants your lender possession, the lender has to apply to the Enforcement of Judgments Office to enforce the court's decision. Even at this late stage, you may be able to avoid having to leave your home if you can come up with a realistic proposal of repaying the money owed.

Don’t stay in your home if you don’t feel safe. If you or your home has been attacked tell the police. The Housing Executive might have to find you somewhere else to live if it’s not reasonable for you to stay in your home.

Housing Executive and housing association tenants should only be evicted as a last resort. Your landlord should work with you to try and resolve any problems and should only decide to go to court to evict you if all other attempts to sort out the problem have failed.