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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Adviser

We’ve been inundated with clients asking for help overturning negative homeless decisions recently.  Because of this increase, we thought it would be useful to share one of our recent review cases with you.  

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Homelessness, Adviser

Housing Rights Service has advisers working in each of the 3 prisons in Northern Ireland.  A key way to prevent homelessness on release is to secure housing benefit for a prisoner’s existing home.  One of our advisers, Edel, recently had a case where she was able to secure housing benefit for a client on remand, even though he hadn’t had a chance to actually move into the property at the time of his arrest.

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Adviser

We’ve seen a lot more enquires about Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) since the changes to Local Housing Allowance back in 2011.  These discretionary payments can be a real lifeline for tenants who are renting privately and relying on housing benefit to meet their housing costs. 

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Adviser

Advising homeowners who Are at risk of losing their home due to arrears on secured loans is a complex area. With this in mind, it’s essential that you’re aware of the very particular problems that can arise when your client has a second charge on their property. 

Advisers and clients alike need to be aware that when a borrower defaults on payment of a secured loan or a second charge the lender may be entitled to:

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Repossession, Affordability, Adviser

When David came to Housing Rights Service he had been sleeping on his sister’s sofa for a few years and was finding it hard to cope. David is single and has a 5 year old daughter who spends weekends with him. He had presented as homeless to NIHE but was found not to have Priority Need.

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Practical tips, Homelessness, Adviser

I recently met Teresa, a lone parent and Housing Executive tenant in rent arrears.  Teresa was at risk of possession and really needed help. 

Teresa was having difficulties paying her rent because she was under a lot of financial pressure and she had debts including a couple of payday loans which she’d taken out to tide her over at a time when she was finding things particularly tough.

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Social Tenancies, Practical tips, Affordability, Adviser

Here at Housing Rights Service we do a lot of work helping tenants who live in social housing deal with rent arrears and housing benefit problems.  There are so many different aspects to advising someone in this situation that I thought it might be helpful to look at some of the most important elements of a rent arrears case.

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Repossession, Social Tenancies, Affordability, Adviser
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Our housing advice line gets stacks of queries about renting privately.  A lot of the PRS cases that come through to me and my colleagues could have been prevented at the start of the tenancy if the tenant or the landlord was better prepared.

We get a lot of calls in September and October each year from people who've signed up to a tenancy that hasn't worked out.  The reasons that people have for wanting to get out of agreements are understandable, some common issues are:

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Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Landlord, Adviser
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About a year ago a number of advisers here found some of our clients who had previously secured a Suspended Possession Order (SPO) were running up against a peculiar problem.

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Repossession, Legal, Adviser
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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

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