Different types of rented accommodation
Rented accommodation is available from two main providers: private landlords and social housing providers - namely registered housing associations and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).
Northern Ireland Housing Executive
The Northern Ireland Housing Executive can tell you about its services and about care homes and supported or sheltered housing in your area. It should also have a list of housing association properties in your area, and can advise you which ones may be suitable.
Depending on the type of tenancy, private landlords will normally rent their property at the market rate and their right to increase the rent will depend on the type of tenancy. Make sure you get a tenancy agreement and read it carefully before committing to it. A private landlord will normally ask for a deposit which from 1 April 2013 must be protected in an approved tenancy deposit scheme with an appointed scheme administrator. Under new legislation, the landlord must protect your deposit within 14 days of receipt of the deposit and within 28 days of receipt of the deposit, supply you with compulsory information to include:
- how much the deposit is and what scheme it has been protected in
- when money can be deducted from the deposit
- when and how you will get the deposit back
- details of the dispute resolution mechanism offered by the scheme
Please use the link below for further information:
Student housing can be categorised into accommodation provided by the university or in the private rented sector. A student who accepts accommodation in a university owned residence is regarded as a licensee rather than a tenant and any agreement between the student and the university will be a legally binding contract. Licensees are not afforded the protection of any housing law and will have very limited rights compared to students in the private rented sector.
Most student occupied housing in the private rented sector falls under the definition of Houses in Multiple Occupation. The Housing Executive sets and enforces standards on such properties for fire protection systems and equipment, washing and toilet facilities, kitchen facilities and space standards.
- The operation of Houses in Multiple Occupation - NIHE website
- Advice for tenants - NIHE website
- Housing advice for students - NIHE website
Sheltered housing properties have generally been built for older people and/or disabled people. The accommodation is usually self-contained flats or bungalows.
They often have an alarm call system and a warden who visits regularly, or lives on the premises. For more information, please use the link below to access the NIHE website, 'supporting people' section where you can find a directory of sheltered housining in Northern Ireland:
Housing association accommodation
Housing associations offer 'not for profit' social housing and normally have a variety of housing. Some of it is specially designed for people with physical disabilities.
Housing associations may also be able to adapt their properties to meet their tenants' needs, including the need for sheltered housing. For more information please check the links below:
Housing information in other languages
You can find out more about the housing rights of EEA nationals in Northern Ireland by visting the Housing Advice website:
The site is available in English, Polish, Lithuanian, Slovak, Russian and Portuguese. You can learn more about renting privately, homelessness, sharing a home, paying for your accommodation and other issues that affect migrant workers:
- Housing Advice - Polish Language - Housing Rights Service website
- Housing Advice - Lithuanian Language - Housing Rights Service website
- Housing Advice - Slovak Language - Housing Rights Service website
- Housing Advice - Russian Language - Housing Rights Service website
- Housing Advice - Portuguese Language - Housing Rights Service website