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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

94% compliance with landlord registration scheme

At the end of June 2015 over 42,000 private landlords had registered with the NI landlord registration registrar.  These landlords have provided details of over 89,000 private tenancies.  Using information from the 2011 census, the Department for Social Development suggests that roughly 94% of landlords have complied with the requirement to register.

Private landlords who fail to register may face a fixed penalty of £500 or a fine of up to £2,500.

Who needs to register?

All landlords of properties let under a private tenancy in Northern Ireland must register their details and the details of each rental property.  "Landlord" includes anyone who is named as an owner on the deeds of a rental property.  So, if the property is owned by two people, but only one of these actually is involved in collecting rent or managing the property, both people will still need to register their details and pay the registration fee. 

People who rent out rooms in their homes to lodgers will not need to register.

Landlords who are already on the Houses In Multiple Occupation (HMO) register need to supply their details, but do not have to pay a fee. Registration must be renewed every 3 years.

When to register

All existing landlords should have registered by 25 February 2015.  Landlords who are new to the market must register before the letting of a new tenancy.

How to register

Registration can be completed:

  • online
  • by calling the advice line on 0300 200 7821 where an agent will register on the landlord’s behalf; or
  • by completing a paper form and returning this to NI Direct, 3rd Floor, Causeway Exchange, 1-7 Bedford Street, Belfast, BT2 7EG.  Paper forms are available online, from your local council or rates office or can be requested by calling 0300 200 7821.  

Registration costs for landlords

Online registration or registering by telephone costs £70, while registering using the paper form costs £80.  Online registration or registering by telephone is encouraged as it is the cheaper option. Using the paper form is more expensive as this process costs more to administer.

Information required by the registrar

Landlords have to supply the following information:

  • full name
  • address, email address and telephone numbers, including any  mobile numbers
  • a correspondence address in Northern Ireland if this is different to the other address provided
  • date of birth
  • the company registration number if the landlord is a company
  • the name, address and contact number of any agent acting on the landlord’s behalf

For each property registered, landlords must supply:

  • the address, including the postcode
  • the date the house was built
  • the name and contact details of any joint owners

Landlords who do not have to pay fees because they have already paid to register a House in Multiple Occupation will also need to supply:

  • the HMO registration certificate number and
  • the address of each HMO

Publicly available information

On entering a property's address, a member of the public can see if there is a registered landlord for this property.

On entering a landlord's name the system confirms whether or not that person is registered.   It will also provide them with the registration number and the name and contact details of any agent. The landlord’s name will not be linked to a property on any public search facility.

Other information held on the register will only be available to those who need to access the register to carry out official work, such as officers from a local council, Land & Property Services or the Housing Executive.

Checking the register

Tenants and advisers can check the register to see if a landlord has registered.  It is possible to search by landlord name or by property address.

Help and information for landlords

Housing Rights Service publishes advice and guidance for private landlords on our housingadviceNI website, which is funded by the NI Housing Executive. 

Tagged In

Regulation, Private Tenancies, Landlord

This article was written on 8 July 2015. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.