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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Rights of Housing Association tenants

Your rights as a Housing Assocation tenant should be explained in your tenancy agreement and your tenant handbook.  Housing associations are regulated by the Department of Communities in Northern Ireland and registered housing associations have to comply with the guidelines set out by this government department. 

The law gives housing association tenants certain rights. Secure tenants have more rights than introductory tenants. You are an introductory tenant for the first year of your tenancy. After 12 months you’ll become a secure tenant.

Secure Housing Executive (NIHE) and housing association tenants can apply for a transfer to a different NIHE or housing association property. You can ask for a transfer anywhere in the UK and tenants from England, Scotland & Wales can transfer to properties in Northern Ireland.

Secure Housing Executive (NIHE) and housing association tenants can exchange their homes with other secure NIHE or housing association tenants as long as the landlords both agree. Introductory tenants can only exchange in rare circumstances. Speak to Housing Rights if you’re an introductory tenant who needs to swap.

Secure Housing Executive (NIHE) and housing association tenants have a right to buy the home they live in, as long as they and the property are eligible for the scheme.

You may be able to pass your tenancy on to other people if you can't continue to live in the property. Your landlord needs to give permission to allow this to happen and will only do it in certain circumstances.

You may want to add someone else's name onto your tenancy.  This could happen if you originally moved into the property as a single person, but you now have a partner.  You need to get the Housing Executive or housing association's permission to create the joint tenancy.