Renting a Housing Executive or housing association garage
The Housing Executive and some registered housing associations have a small number of garages for rent. Priority is usually given to existing tenants.
Applying for a garage
You need to contact your local Housing Executive office or housing association to find out if they have any garages to rent. You may not be offered a garage if you are in rent arrears. For more information use the links below to contact your nearest NIHE or housing association office:
What can you use the garage for?
Garages are for private use they are not for commercial activities. They are intended for the storage of a motor vehicle and are not sufficiently weather-tight or secure for the storage of any other goods. You should not store petrol or any other flammable materials in your garage and you are not allowed to sub-let it to anyone else.
What if you no longer need the garage?
You usually have to give four weeks advance notice if you want to give up your garage. When you return the keys the garage should be empty and swept through. You may be charged if the Housing Executive or housing association has to clear it.
What happens if you fall into arrears?
Garage rents are due in advance and action is taken to recover arrears. Where arrears rise to an unacceptable level or an account is in arrears for too long, the Housing Executive or housing association may decide to terminate the tenancy and repossess the garage.
Unlike houses and flats, the Housing Executive or housing association does not have to apply to the courts for a Possession Order in order to regain possession. Should a garage be repossessed and found to contain goods, the tenant will be contacted and asked to remove them. If the Housing Executive or housing association has to clear the garage, the cost of the clearance along with the cost of a lock change - if necessary, will be charged to the former tenant. This is in addition to any arrears outstanding.
Most arrears cases can be dealt with relatively simply provided tenants get in contact early enough. Ignoring the situation can only make matters worse. Due to the low level of rent compared to a house or flat, some may regard garage rent as low priority. However, the Housing Executive and housing associations have a duty to recover all rent owed in order to fund the services they provide.
Will you be liable for VAT?
From the 2 April 2012 the rental charge of a garage is subject to VAT (20 per cent) where the garage tenant is one of the following:
- private individuals, including those former tenants who purchased their property
- NIHE tenants with three or more lettings
- Housing Association Tenants
- a member of an NIHE household renting a garage
- NIHE tenants renting a garage outside the common landlord area (CLA) or where it is determined the garage is not reasonably near to their home