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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Going to court

You may need to go to court to resolve a housing problem you're having.  The type of court you use will depend on your case.  You will need a solicitor to help you with most court cases, but you don't need one for Small Claims Court.  If you don't have a solicitor, speak to an independent advice agency.  The agency may be able to help with your case.  

Legal action can be expensive.  You might be able to get Legal Aid to cover some of the costs if you're on a low income. 

You can use the Small Claims Court to take legal action against someone if you are claiming less than £3000. You don't need a solicitor to go to Small Claims Court so the costs are much lower than the costs for other types of legal action.

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.

You may be able to ask for a judicial review if you're unhappy with how a public body has made a decision. This can be a long and expensive process and there's no guarantee that the decision will be changed. You'll need legal advice if you want to apply for a judicial review. Speak to an independent advice agency who may be able to refer you to the Law Centre for more assistance.

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.

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.