Problems with your landlord - how the council can help

Most landlords are responsible and treat their tenants fairly. If you experience harassment from your landlord, you should contact the local council's Environmental Health office. They have authority to investigate and can take legal action against a landlord.

Harassment and unlawful eviction of a tenant

Harassment and illegal eviction are criminal offences. 

The local council's Environmental Health office investigates complaints about landlord harassment or illegal eviction of tenants. They have authority to prosecute landlords for these offences.

To contact the council in your area, go to:

Landlord's obligations to a tenant

All private landlords must register before letting a new tenancy. The council can prosecute landlords who don't comply  with the Private Tenancies Order (Northern Ireland) 2006. For example, they can prosecute a landlord who doesn't give a tenant:

  • a rent book
  • a statement of tenancy terms 

The council can also prosecute a landlord who:

  • doesn't protect a tenant’s deposit
  • doesn't register as a landlord

Landlord registration 

Landlords must be registered if they rent houses or flats to private tenants.
If you live in private rented accommodation, you can check that your landlord is registered. Go to:

Complaining about a landlord

When the council receives a complaint from a tenant, an Environmental Health officer will investigate. They may ask the landlord to provide information to the tenant. Where a landlord persistently fails to provide information, the council can prosecute.

Landlord's obligation to protect your tenancy deposit

Since 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.

The council can fine your landlord if they don't meet their landlord obligations. 

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