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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Rate rebate system scheduled downtime

Land & Property Services has advised that its online rate rebate portal is unavailable between Monday 4 May and Monday 11 May. This is an annual occurence to allow for the uprating of claims.

However, due to staffing and procedural difficulties as a result of the unprecedented circumstances we are currently in, LPS are unable to provide telephone support to clients during this period as they normally would. This makes it impossible for a client to make a new claim, or update an existing claim during this period.

Who is affected?

Any person who is claiming UC and wishes to make a new claim for Rate Rebate will not be able to do so during until after 6pm on May 11. 

Landlords/agents who wish to set up an account or verify the claim of a new tenant will similarly be unable to do so until the service has been restored.

Existing claimants should be aware that LPS will automatically apply the annual uprate to each claim and claimants do not need to login to their accounts to advise of the annual change in the amount of rates payable. Updates are only required if the other particulars of the claim, such as the address of the property, have changed. 

Advice to clients

Rates rebate claims have generous backdating provisions. Where a claim is made within 3 months of the first payment of UC, entitlement to rates assistance can be backdated to the first day of UC entitlement. These generous timeframes mean that a week's downtime should not have serious consequences for the majority of claims. 

Clients who have left it late to submit their claim should advice LPS by email that they have attempted to claim and have been frustrated by the system outage. Email raterebate@lpsni.gov.uk setting out

  • the date that they attempted to make the claim,
  • any attempts to contact LPS by telephone,
  • their name and address
  • the landlord's details
  • the fact that the person is in receipt of UC
  • the date that they received their first payment of UC

Help with rates and rates assistance

Clients or advisers with queries about the rates rebate system or other forms of entitlement with advice are encouraged to contact Housing Rights. 

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Benefits, Affordability
This article was written on 7 May 2020. 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.