Housing Executive and housing association evictions
If you're a tenant in social housing, you should discuss any tenancy or rent arrears problems with your landlord. A social housing landlord can apply to the courts to repossess a property and evict you when you ignore their letters or visits.
Measures have been put in place to support social and private renters as well as those experiencing homelessness.
An agreement is in place with all social housing landlords (Housing Executive and Housing Associations) that any social housing tenant facing difficulties paying rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic will not be evicted. More information can be found on the Department for Communities website. Urgent steps have been taken to put the Housing Executive rent increase, which was due on 6 April, on hold until 1 October 2020. If you are facing eviction or are not safe where you live you can get help from the Housing Executive.
Reasons for eviction
The most common reason for eviction is not paying the rent. It is possible for a tenant to be evicted if they break a condition in their tenancy agreement. To evict you, the landlord needs a possession order from court.
When a court grants a possession order, you can only apply to the court to change the terms of that order or to suspend the eviction.
If you are facing a possession order, you need independent legal advice. You can get free advice from Advice NI. You can also pay a solicitor for their advice.
Stopping the eviction
If you're threatened with eviction, the earlier you take action or get advice the better. It is more difficult to make agreements at a late stage.
You may apply for the possession order to be suspended. The court will look again at your case but may not agree to alter the decision.
If you have problems paying your rent:
- speak to your landlord
- get advice
- make regular payments, including small amounts
When a tenant is evicted
If you are evicted, you will need alternative accommodation for yourself and anyone living with you.
Ifyour landlord evicts you because you didn't pay the rent, it is likely you will be considered as making yourself intentionally homeless. The Housing Executive will assess your circumstances. They might give you temporary housing while you wait for a decision about your homelessness.