Advice and help for tenants
The Housing Executive can give advice and help if your rent is in arrears. You can make an agreement to repay the arrears. Introductory and secure tenants are entitled to advice and help for rent arrears.
If you can't pay your rent, contact the Accounts office in your area.
If you owe rent
When you owe rent to the Housing Executive and ask for help, they can:
- arrange for your rent to be paid directly from certain benefits
- refer you to a specialist debt adviser
- make an agreement with you to clear arrears by paying regular amounts along with your current rent and rates
- arrange for your rent to be paid directly from your salary if you are employed
If you break the repayment agreement
If there is a change in your circumstances and you can't keep the agreement, you must contact your district office immediately. If you don't keep the agreement and miss payments, you'll receive a broken agreement letter, giving you seven days to pay the amount you owe.
The Housing Executive can also apply for direct payments from certain social security benefits.
If your ignore warning letters about your rent arrears, the Housing Executive could take legal action. You will be responsible for the legal costs.
Reviewing a decision about your introductory tenancy
If you're an introductory tenant and the Housing Executive writes to tell you they're seeking a possession order from court, you can ask them to review your case within 14 days. A member of staff who wasn't involved in the earlier decision will review your case.
You don't have the right to appeal the review. If the original decision is upheld, the Housing Executive will ask the court for a possession order.
If you owe rent to the Housing Executive, they'll write to you about the arrears. If you ignore their letters or visits, they can apply for a Decree for Debt or a possession order from the court.
When the court grants a possession order, you lose your security of tenure. You might incur legal costs that will increase the amount you owe.
If you seem to be intentionally homeless, the Housing Executive might not be responsible for rehousing you. You'll need to find your own accommodation.
Help to pay your rent
If you receive Income Support or have a low income, you could claim Housing Benefit. The amount you get depends on your circumstances. You can get Housing Benefit if you are working. To ask for an application form, contact the Housing Executive in your area.
Making a complaint
You can complain to the Housing Executive if you're unhappy with a decision they made or how they treated you. You can ask them for a leaflet explaining their two-stage complaints procedure.