Problems with your landlord - how the council can help
The vast majority of landlords are responsible and fair. In the unlikely event you experience trouble with your landlord, your council has some legal powers it can use to help.
Harassment and unlawful eviction
Harassment and illegal eviction are defined as criminal offences. Your council has the power to prosecute people who commit offences. Environmental Health Officers from the council will investigate complaints and will consider bringing a prosecution where there is enough evidence to indicate that it will be successful and where it is in the public interest.
The council also has powers to prosecute landlords who fail to meet their obligations under the Private Tenancies Order (Northern Ireland) 2006. Such matters include the failure of landlords to provide rent books or a statement of tenancy terms. Where a complaint is received, the council's Environmental Health Officers will try to ensure that the required information is provided.
However, in the case of persistent failure to provide the information a prosecution will be considered.
Failure by your landlord to protect your tenancy deposit
From 1 April 2013 your landlord must protect a new deposit in one of the approved tenancy deposit schemes within 14 days of receiving the deposit from you. Your landlord must also give you specific information about the scheme your deposit is protected in within 28 days of having received the deposit from you. Your local council will have the power to impose fines on your landlord if he fails to meet these obligations.
Please use the links below to get further information:
- Tenancy Deposit Schemes
- Find your local council - (contacts section)
- Illegal evictions - Housing Advice NI website
- Publications for the private rented sector - DSD website