When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Advice for Housing Association tenants

Advice for housing association tenants
Advice for Housing Association tenants

Housing Association tenants may be introductory tenants or secure tenants.  You'll be an introductory tenant for your first 12 months as a tenant of a social landlord, like the Housing Executive or a housing association.  If there haven't been any problems with your tenancy during that 12 month period you'll become a secure tenant and have much stronger legal rights.  It's important that you understand, not just your rights, but also your responsibilities to the housing association. 

Your social tenancy can end if

  • your landlord evicts you
  • your landlord decides you aren't living in the property and takes it back, or
  • you end your own tenancy

You can be evicted if you owe a lot of rent. Your landlord has to take you to court to evict you. They should only take you to court if all other ways of getting you to pay what you owe fail. Contact our helpline if you are finding it hard to pay your rent. 


Your housing association must make sure that your home is safe to live in. Your tenancy agreement should explain whether you or your housing association is responsible for repairs. Ask your landlord for a copy of your agreement if you don’t already have one.

You have certain rights if you're a housing association tenant. These are set out in law and should be written into your tenancy agreement and your tenant's handbook.

While your housing association has certain responsibilities to you, you also have certain responsibilities. These should be outlined in your tenancy agreement and your tenant's handbook.

Your housing association's complaints procedure will explain how you can complain and what you can complain about. The Ombudsman may be able to help you if you are not happy with how your housing association dealt with your complaint. 

The points system can be really confusing. A lot of people don't know what their points mean and whether their points are correct. Our advisers can talk to you about your points and your options if you can't get enough points for a home. 

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