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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Practical tips

Housing Rights summer to autumn training programme has just been released.  Based on your feedback we have come up with a range of sessions all aimed at making your job easier.

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Practical tips
Picture of Housing Champions at CIH Awards

At Housing Rights, we are particularly proud of our Housing Champions, a group of volunteers from minority communities in Northern Ireland who help people within those communities by providing housing advice and interpreting services. The Housing Champions project was recently Highly Commended in the Chartered Institute of Housing NI Housing Awards.

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Benefits, Minority Groups, Practical tips, Adviser
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The clock is ticking on the NI welfare reform mitigations package. So far, the devastating impacts of the bedroom tax have not been felt in Northern Ireland to the same extent as they have elsewhere. But, this may mean that certain people are subject to this tax who should not be.

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Benefits, Practical tips, Welfare Reform, Adviser

Welfare reform continues to have a huge impact on the housing situation of low income households in Northern Ireland.  As well as advice agencies the public often approach their constituency offices for help and support with housing issues

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Benefits, Repossession, Practical tips, Welfare Reform
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Many of the cases we feature on our website are the result of long investigations and complex work carried out by our casework team. But, we regularly turn around positive outcomes much more quickly for people who contact our daily housing helpline. In a recent example, Victoria used her knowledge of housing and consumer law to prevent homelessness for a young single mum who had been given notice to quit by her landlord.

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Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Adviser

Last year, our adviser Karen assisted Thomas, who had been given incorrect information about migrating to Universal Credit and was struggling to afford his rent as a result.

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Benefits, Practical tips, Adviser

Housing Rights has produced a new professional resource on the lawfulness of letting fees within the private rental sector.

Letting fees are additional charges for services included in the routine letting and management of properties. They affect both tenants and landlords in the private rental sector – a sector which is increasing in size on account of a shortage of social housing and barriers to home ownership.

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Private Tenancies, Practical tips

Our helpline has fielded lots of calls in recent weeks relating to unlawful evictions. In many of these cases, the landlord had furnished the tenant with a “licence” agreement, rather than a tenancy agreement. However, the fact that a person’s contract refers to them as a licensee does not override the facts of the matter. If, on investigation, it is established that a tenancy in fact exists the landlord must follow the correct legal process to recover possession of the dwelling.

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Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Legal

As social housing becomes more difficult to access, many people who may traditionally have found a home in this sector are turning to the private rented sector for a home. However, some people face barriers in accessing this type of accommodation, not just through affordability pressures, but also due to their age. Our adviser talks through a case where she advocated on behalf of a young woman to enable her to take on a tenancy, despite not yet being 18.

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Benefits, Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Adviser

The Department for Communities has issued guidance on the effect of a recent upper tribunal decision concerning the meaning of the phrase “A person is responsible for a child or qualifying young person who normally lives with them”, which appears in the Universal Credit legislation.

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Benefits, Practical tips, Case law, Legal

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