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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

June 2013

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Cases that revolve around capital rules and housing benefit can often be complicated.  There's so much case law that it can be difficult to know where to start.  One of my clients, Janine,  was refused housing benefit because she was named on the deeds of a property which her former partner still lived in. This was a long and complex case and involved a lot of legal research. 

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Adviser, Affordability, Legal

Denise Callaghan has worked as an adviser with Housing Rights Service for several years.  A key member of the Preventing Possession Initiative, Denise was Northern Ireland's first Duty Court Adviser for people at risk of repossession.  Here, Denise talks through her experiences advising worried homeowners.

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Affordability, Repossession

In a briefing to the Assembly’s Committee for Finance & Personnel on 5th June 2013, Housing Rights Service warned that proposed changes contained in the Department for Finance & Personnel (DFP)’s Review of Rates Liability for the Landlord Sector will not make much of a difference to our clients.

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Private Tenancies, Policy, NI Assembly
Advisor

How do I deal with landlord repossessions?  It very much depends on whether the landlord’s done what he or she is supposed to do!

If the landlord didn’t get the right permission from the mortgage lender or acted outside the terms in the mortgage agreement, your client could be in trouble.

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Adviser, Landlord, Practical tips, Private Tenancies

Carmel Ferguson, solicitor and member of Housing Rights Service's Legal Team investigates how a recent Upper Tribunal hearing will impact locally.  This widely reported case upheld a local authority's decision not to grant housing benefit to a homeless applicant.  Could this set a worrying precedent that will impact on people in Northern Ireland?

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Case law, Homelessness, Legal
Letting fees

We recently carried out an undercover survey of 40 NI based lettings agencies to find out more about the fees and charges that prospective tenants are forced to hand over before they can find rented accommodation.

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Private Tenants Forum, Private Tenancies, Affordability
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Imagine you’re a private tenant, paying rent each month and confident that you’re doing everything that’s required of you.  One day you open your post to find a final demand from Land & Property Services insisting that you pay £2000+ by the end of the month or face court.  It’s particularly confusing when your tenancy agreement says your rent includes rates and your landlord’s responsible for paying these to LPS.

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Adviser, Affordability, Practical tips, Private Tenancies

The Private Tenants Forum, a group of tenants in private rented accommodation who have come together to campaign for better conditions, has responded to the Department of Finance & Personnel's recent consultation on a review of rates liability in the landlord sector. 

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Landlord, Private Tenancies, Private Tenants Forum

Last year Alison came to Housing Rights Service for help.  She was being threatened with bankruptcy over rates arrears of almost £7000.  I took on her case and here's what happened. 

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Adviser, Affordability, Practical tips

Welcome to the new online home of Housing Rights Service.  We hope that our newly designed website will allow you to learn more about the work we do to promote and protect the rights of people in housing need in Northern Ireland.  We’re excited about this new way of sharing information with our stakeholders and hope you’ll take some time to explore what we have to offer.