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Useful links for landlords
Your local council
Antrim Borough Council
Ards Borough Council
Armagh City and District Council
Ballymena Borough Council
Ballymoney Borough Council
Banbridge District Council
Belfast City Council
Carrickfergus Borough Council
Castlereagh Borough Council
Coleraine Borough Council
Cookstown District Council
Craigavon Borough Council
Derry City Council
Down District Council
Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council
Fermanagh District Council
Larne Borough Council
Limavady Borough Council
Lisburn City Council
Magherafelt District Council
Moyle District Council
Newry and Mourne District Council
Newtownabbey Borough Council
North Down Borough Council
Omagh District Council
Strabane District Council
Is your property a protected tenancy?
If so, your tenants have greater rights
Anyone who receives payment to allow someone to live in a property owned by them is a landlord. Even if you're just letting your home to a friend while you travel, you need to comply with the laws surrounding renting. If you are thinking about becoming a landlord, it's important that you become familiar with your legal obligations and understand how much work is involved.
Depending on your property type, you may need to register with the Housing Executive. You should also consider joining an organisation that can provide professional support and advice to landlords.
Your house needs to be up to certain standards before it can be rented out. You may need to ask the council to inspect your property and will have to abide by certain safety requirements.
As with any new business, there are a number of practical and legal considerations that you must address before you can let your property.
People who are interested in moving in to your property will probably start to contact you as soon as you've advertised the letting. An agent will usually find tenants for your property for an agreed fee, but there are some things you should consider if you decide to go it alone.
Once you've chosen your tenants, you need to draw up a tenancy agreement and provide the tenant with certain legally required documents.
Once you set up as a landlord, you have certain rights which your tenants must respect.
Renting out property is a business and you have certain responsibilities to your customers, the tenants.
Any deposits taken on or after 1 April 2013 must be registered with an authorised Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme administrator. Deposits taken before that date don't need to be registered with one of these schemes.
Rates can cause a huge headache for landlords and tenants. Make sure you understand who is responsible for paying these from the outset.
All tenants have a legal right to apply for housing benefit to help them with their housing costs. You should get to know how housing benefit is calculated and paid.
Dealing with requests for repairs is an essential part of your landlord business. Having a process in place to systematically deal with these requests will make things easier on both you and your tenants.
As with any business, at some point you may run into problems with your tenants. Keep records of any letters or messages you send to your tenants when you're trying to sort out problems. These will help if a legal dispute arises and you end up in court.
There is a set legal process for ending a tenancy which can only be bypassed with the written agreement of both you and the tenant. Make sure you follow the law carefully if you have decided to evict a tenant.
Tenancies which meet certain crieria are known as protected tenancies. The tenants who live in these tenancies have greater rights and rents for these tenancies are set by the Rent Officer, rather than the individual landlord.
Check out our downloads page for template letters to help you communicate with your tenants and some helpful flowcharts and tables, which can help you to understand your legal obligations