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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Making things easier for Smart Renters

Picture of renter with SmartRenter logo

Many of the problems which arise during a private tenancy are caused by a lack of awareness from both tenants and landlords about their respective rights and responsibilities. In a bid to make it easier to find information to help resolve common problems, we've developed a new online resource www.SmartRenter.org

Simple, friendly housing advice

The site complements our existing online resources for private tenants and is a quick, reliable source of information to help renters find and keep a rented home. Whether you're starting out, currently renting or moving on from your rented home we've got information to help you plan and prepare. SmartRenter is focused on putting simple, easy to use information in the hands of private renters, helping people understand their rights and their responsibilities and signposting renters to sources of comprehensive advice should problems crop up. The site was recently featured on consumer programme On Your Behalf, where host Linda McCauley described it as a "lovely, simple website".

Tools to help you plan and prepare

SmartRenter includes a number of tools and checklists that can help potential tenants avoid difficult renting situations in the future. These include useful checklists for viewing a property, signing a tenancy agreement or moving out. We've also provided an inventory tool that renters can use to accurately note the condition and cleanliness of each room in the property when they move in. Accurate inventories are an incredibly helpful tool in settling deposit disputes, and SmartRenter allows a tenant an opportunity to record their own inventory which can then be emailed to the tenant and landlord as a dated record of the property's condition. 

Communicating with your landlord

Where problems do crop up in rented homes, renters may not instinctively know how to communicate with the property manager to address these issues. SmartRenter has got this covered with a letter generator which can help renters find the words to raise concerns and exercise their rights. 

Future plans

SmartRenter's genesis to date has been funded through the Building Change Trust's Techies in Residence programme, but we have plans to develop the site further. If there are any specific features you'd like to see to help private renters across Northern Ireland we would love to hear your ideas. 

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Private Tenancies

This article was written on 7 August 2019. 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.