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Council has several responsibilities in relation to rented housing

The Council is committed to improving and maintaining housing standards throughout the Borough. Council may be of assistance for anyone living in sub-standard properties or is having difficulties with a landlord. Council would encourage both tenants and landlords to try and resolve disputes between themselves prior to Council involvement.

Gas Safety

Landlords have an obligation to ensure any gas services and equipment in any property they rent is safe. For that purpose they are required to have the gas system and appliances inspected and passed as safe by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer

Housing problems such as dampness or disrepair

Rented properties must meet basic fitness standards in that they should be free from anything that may be harmful to your health such as rising or penetrating dampness. If the Council is satisfied that any dwelling is in such a state as to be prejudicial to your health then we may serve a Statutory Abatement Notice on the landlord of the property requiring him to carry out any required works.

Landlords who receive an Abatement Notice from Council may be eligible for a monetary grant. This is administered through Northern Ireland Housing Executive. For more information on these grants please visit www.nihe.gov.uk

For further advice on dampness and condensation please see Advisory Leaflet on Dampness and Condensation.

Private Tenancies Order

Any rented properties built before 1945 and where a tenancy first began after 2007 are subject to the above legislation. An important aspect of this Order requires relevant properties to be inspected by Officers from this Department who will determine if the property meets basic fitness standards for habitation. Landlords have an obligation to ensure any relevant properties have a Fitness Certificate issued by Council. It is an offence to rent such properties without the relevant Fitness Certificate

Landlord Registration Scheme

All landlords are required to register with the Landlords Registration Scheme at NI Direct or alternatively download application form and post to:

NI Direct
Telephone House
45 - 75 May Street
Belfast
BT1 4NB

 

A centrally held register of private landlords:

  • allows tenants, neighbours and local councils to identify if landlords are registered
  • provides information on the number of landlords in Northern Ireland and allows landlords to receive regular updates on the duties and responsibilities of landlords and tenants
  • provides education and support to landlords

It improves tenants’ confidence in their landlords and increase landlords’ accountability by:

  • promoting good practice
  • ensuring the right advice and help is available

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

In order to provide safeguards for landlords and tenants it is now the law that any deposit provided by a tenant is placed by the landlord in a third party organisation who will hold onto the deposit until the end of the tenancy. They will also act as mediators in any disputes over deposits between tenants and landlords.

For further information please see www.tdsnorthernireland.com

Rent Books and Tenancy Agreements

Landlords should provide tenants with a Rent Book showing a written record of agreed payments and dates. Landlords should also provide tenants with a copy of the Tenancy Agreement which should clearly outline both parties’ responsibilities in relation to the dwelling

Harassment and illegal eviction

All tenants are protected by law whereby it is an offence for a landlord to cause them harassment. It is also an offence for a landlord to illegally evict a tenant

Harassment may involve some or all of the following

  • Stopping gas, water or electrical supplies

  • Making threats

  • Entering the dwelling without the consent of the tenant

  • Not carrying out reasonable essential repairs

  • Making frequent unannounced visits especially at night

Illegal eviction – landlords must provide tenants with at least 4 weeks written notice of his intent for a tenant to vacate a property. It is illegal to evict any tenant without giving this period of Notice. If the tenant still remains in the property after this notification the landlord must still not evict the tenant and must obtain an Order from Court.

If you feel that your landlord is harassing you or you have been illegally evicted from your home please contact us.

Nuisance from neighbouring property

Council may be of assistance in cases where the state and condition of one property is causing a problem at another property. Common enquiries to Council involve accumulations of rubbish and malodour. If Council is satisfied that the state and condition of one property is a nuisance to another we will serve a legal notice on the person responsible requiring them to do what is necessary to remove the nuisance

For further assistance or advice on any of the above housing matters please contact us:

 

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
Health and Built Environment
Environmental Services
Ballymoney Office
14 Charles Street
Ballymoney
BT53 6DZ
Telephone 028 27660 200