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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

Practical tips

Aine, a Housing Executive tenant, contacted Housing Rights Service when she received a letter which stated that she was being pursued for a housing benefit overpayment of £19,000.

The letter said that the Housing Executive believed, based on evidence it had received from the Social Security Agency, that Aine was living with a partner but had not declared this.  

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Benefits, Practical tips, Affordability, Adviser

On 15th April TDSNI will be delivering a seminar on the tenancy deposit dispute process, helping you understand how adjudicators make their decisions. Here are a few key principles of deposit disputes to keep in mind, before referring a case for adjudication.

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Private Tenancies, Practical tips

Deposit protection was introduced in Northern Ireland in 2013 with the stated intention of providing "assurances for tenants and protection for landlords helping to minimise long drawn out legal proceedings and disputes".

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Private Tenancies, Practical tips

Our adviser recently helped a client who had left her previous employment due to constructive dismissal and whose claim for housing benefit was rejected as the decision maker felt that she was not “involuntarily unemployed”.

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Benefits, Money Matters, Practical tips, Adviser
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We’ve had a number of clients contact us recently saying that they’ve either been threatened with an illegal eviction or, in a few cases, that they have, in fact, been illegally forced out of their property by a landlord. In one case a client stated that the police were in attendance. Indeed, we have had some enquiries as to what role the police should play in an eviction.

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Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Landlord, Adviser

We've asked solicitor Chris McGrath to consider whether or not tenants are obliged to serve a notice to quit in order to bring a fixed term tenancy to an end.  

There are different methods a private tenancy can be brought to an end by the landlord or the tenant; these include

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Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Legal

Response to A Strategy for the Delivery of Generalist Advice Services in Northern

Housing Rights Service has recently responded to a DSD consultation on  ‘A Strategy for the Delivery of Generalist Advice Services in Northern Ireland 2015 – 2020’.  We feel that any future changes to the work, organisation and administration of the generalist advice sector has the potential to impact on the day-to-day work of specialist agencies such as Housing Rights Service. Over 70% of our clients are already referred to us by another agency. Any change in their resources will also have an effect on the demand for HRS.

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Practical tips, Policy, NI Assembly

Tenants who are having problems in their privately rented homes can now turn to a new service for assistance.  Smartmove Housing is providing a tenancy sustainment intervention service as part of the Private Rented Sector Access Scheme, funded by the NI Housing Executive.

What is a Tenancy Sustainment Intervention scheme?

Smartmove officers can intervene in a failing tenancy and work with the tenant and the landlord to try to improve the situation.

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Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Landlord

People from all walks of life end up in the Chancery Court in Belfast, facing the possibility of losing their home.  Sharon and Stephen are one such couple, who got help from our Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme last month, after meeting specialist representative Maria McNally at court. 

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Repossession, Practical tips, Affordability

Two topics that often strike fear into the heart of an adviser are protected tenancies and the appointment of a receiver.  We recently had a case where both these issues combined, causing much confusion and distress to the tenant.

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Repossession, Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Adviser

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