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The Rent Book Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004

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LEGAL RIGHTS OF ALL PRIVATE TENANTS

Rent Book

1.  All private tenants have a legal right to a rent book which must be provided by the landlord free of charge. Your district council has powers to take legal action where this requirement is not complied with. The tenant must make the rent book available to the landlord (or agent) for updating.

Notice to quit

2.  A notice to quit must give at least 4 weeks written notice of the date on which it is to take effect.

Illegal eviction and harassment

3.  It is an offence for your landlord or anyone acting on his behalf to harass you or your household or illegally evict you. This could include interfering with your home or your possessions or cutting off services such as water or electricity with the intention of making you leave your home. Your district council has powers to take legal action should any of these occur.

Security of tenure

4.  You cannot be evicted from your tenancy without a possession order issued by a Court of Law, although you may be liable for legal costs incurred if an order is issued.

Help with payment of rent and rates

5.  You are entitled to apply for help with the payment of your rent and rates through Housing Benefit, which is a Social Security benefit paid by the Housing Executive. For further information contact your local Housing Executive office.

Further advice

6.  If you would like advice or assistance with any problems you are having in relation to your tenancy contact either Housing Rights Service, telephone (028) 9024 5640, or Advice NI, who will give you details of your local advice centre, telephone (028) 9064 5919, or Citizens Advice Bureaux (see Phone Book for details). You can also contact a solicitor. Help with all or part of the costs of legal advice may be available under the Legal Aid scheme.

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