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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Housing Association

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Things can go wrong with your housing benefit claim. If you were getting Housing Benefit when you shouldn’t have been, you’ll have to pay this money back. You could also have problems if you have to pay rent on two homes for a while or have to leave your home temporarily.

You may be able to challenge or appeal a housing benefit decision if you think it is wrong or unfair. This can be a complicated process so it's best to get help from an advice agency.

An area scheduled for redevelopment can contain properties owned privately or properties owned by housing associations or the Housing Executive. At least one third of the properties in a redevelopment area must be considered to be unfit for human habitation.

Every tenant has a right to apply for housing benefit. However, most students at university or college are not entitled to it, unless they fall into certain categories.

The Housing Executive and housing associations have a number of responsibilities to their tenants. If you’re not happy with your landlord's service you can use the complaints procedure.

You’ll be responsible for dealing with many of the repairing issues in your home. Tenants are responsible for decorating the inside of the property, including carpeting and flooring and you’ll also be responsible for looking after your garden. Your landlord will usually deal with any structural problems or faults with the heating, plumbing and electrical systems.

You may be entitled to compensation if you have to leave your home because the area its based in is scheduled to be redeveloped. Homeowners will be paid the current market value for their home and you might also be entitled to compensation for the disturbance. The Housing Executive should rehouse you if you can no longer live in your home because it is in a redevelopment area.

Getting repairs carried out can be a messy business. If the interior of your home is damaged by contractors carrying out repair or improvement work you could be entitled to compensation.

If you fall behind on your rent, the Housing Executive or housing association can take steps to end your tenancy and evict you. Your landlord will need to get a court order before you'll have to leave the property and this will always be a last resort. Your landlord should try to sort the situation out with you before it starts legal action.

The key aspect of budgeting is being honest and realistic, whether you’re listing your income or your outgoings. A financial statement, containing a listing of your income and expenditure, is a starting point for dealing with debt and making a sustainable repayment proposal.

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