Different types of rented accommodation

Private landlords and social housing landlords provide rented accommodation. Registered housing associations and the Housing Executive (NIHE) are social housing landlords.

Housing Executive

The Housing Executive can tell you about their services, care homes and supported or sheltered housing in your area.

They also have a list of housing association properties in your area. They can advise you which ones may be suitable.

Private landlords

Depending on the type of tenancy, private landlords rent their property at the market rate. Their right to increase the rent depends on the type of tenancy.

Make sure you get a tenancy agreement and read it carefully before signing. During your tenancy, you have housing rights as a tenant protected by law.

Landlord Registration Scheme

All private landlords must register with the scheme before they let a new tenancy. 

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

A private landlord usually asks for a deposit. Since 1  April 2013 a landlord must protect their tenant's deposit in an approved tenancy deposit scheme.

The landlord must protect your deposit within 14 days of receiving it. Within 28 days of getting your deposit, they must give you information explaining: 

  • how much the deposit is and what scheme it has been protected in
  • why money might be deducted from your deposit
  • when and how you will get the deposit back
  • details of the dispute resolution mechanism offered by the scheme

To read more about protecting your deposit, go to:

Student housing

Universities and private landlords rent housing to students. When you accept accommodation in a university-owned residence, you are a licensee, not a tenant.

Licensees have limited housing rights compared to students in private rented accommodation.The agreement between you and the university is a legally binding contract.

Living in private rented housing

Most students in private rented accommodation live in houses in multiple occupation (HMO). 

Since 1 April 2019 local councils set and enforce standards in HMOs for:

  • fire protection systems and equipment
  • washing and toilet facilities
  • living space
  • overcrowding
  • ventilation, lighting and heating
  • kitchen facilities for storing, preparing and providing food

Sheltered housing

Sheltered housing is often for older people or people with disabilities. The accommodation is usually self-contained flats or bungalows.

The accommodation has an alarm call system and a warden who visits regularly or lives on the premises.

Housing association accommodation

Housing associations have various types of housing. Some properties are 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, go to:

Housing information in other languages

To read more about the housing rights of EEA nationals in Northern Ireland, go to:

There is information in English, Polish, Lithuanian, Slovak, Russian, French, Mandarin, Cantonese and Bulgarian. 

You can read about renting privately, homelessness, sharing a home, paying for your accommodation and other issues that affect migrant workers.

More useful links

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