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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Housing benefit

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.

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.

Your tenants are obliged to keep their rental accounts up to date. If a tenant is late with rent or hasn't paid in full, you should contact them to find out what has happened.

Tenancy and floating support services can help you manage in your home. Many of these services are funded through the Housing Executive’s Supporting People programme.

If you are on a low income, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent. Most people who rent privately have their entitlement to housing benefit worked out under a system called Local Housing Allowance.

Housing benefit is a social security benefit which helps people on low income with their housing costs. It can cover rent, rates and some service charges. There are different systems for working out housing benefit for social tenants, who rent from the Housing Executive or housing associations, and for private tenants, who rent from a private landlord or agent.

You may be able to challenge or appeal a housing benefit decision if you think it is wrong or unfair. This can be a complicated process so it's best to get help from an advice agency.

Most people who normally live in Northern Ireland, have a low income and have to pay rent or rates can claim housing benefit. If you have savings or own property the amount you get may be reduced. People who have recently moved to the UK and full time students will not normally get housing benefit.

You could lose your home if you don’t pay your rent. Your landlord, whether it’s the Housing Executive or a housing association will have to follow the proper procedure before this happens. Part of this procedure is to work with you to try to sort out the problem.

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