Private landlords

This information applies to private landlords with a tenant getting help with their housing costs, through Housing Benefit. There are a number of points you must consider.

How much might be paid?

We assess Housing Benefit for all private tenants based on the Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

The rate of LHA used to calculate a private tenants Housing Benefit award depends on:

  • the area they live in; and

  • who lives with them and the number of bedrooms they need.

For further information, we recommend visit our section on:

Certificate of Occupation

You must complete a Certificate of Occupation before we can assess your tenant’s claim for Housing Benefit. We cannot make any Housing Benefit payments until you return this to us.

The easiest way to complete a Certificate of Occupation is online.


You can download the Certificate of Occupation Form and email or post it to your local Housing Benefit unit.

Download the:

Changes in Circumstances

If your tenant has a change in circumstances, which was reasonable for us to expect you to know, you should report it to us. If you do not and we pay you too much Housing Benefit then you will have to repay it.

Changes might include:

  • your tenant moving out;
  • your tenant moving to another property which you own; or
  • your tenant changing room in your property.

You can report this in the following ways:

Online: change in circumstances

Telephone: 03448 920 902 | NGT* 18001 03448 920 902.

Please provide your landlord reference number.

How we contact you

As a landlord, we will only contact you by email.  So you must have a valid email account. We will send you a secure pin number by post. This will let you access online your payment schedule with the Housing Executive.

You can read more from NI Direct about:

You should add our email address to:

  • your address book
  • contacts list and/or
  • safe sender list (for your email account)
  • any anti-virus software you use

 More advice for private landlords

There are requirements which you must meet if you are a private landlord.  

You can find out more on NI Direct - clicking on either link will open a new window.

You should seek legal advice if you have any questions about letting your property. Other advice services you could contact include:

Landlord Registration Scheme

By law, all private landlords in Northern Ireland must register with the Landlord Registration Scheme.  Find out more on NIDirect.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

The Housing Executive does not regulate HMOs. Councils license HMOs and carry out the necessary checks and inspections. They ensure that the property is suitable for the specified number of people that will occupy it.

Find out more about HMO licences for all local councils at:

Universal Credit / Rate Rebate

People of working age may have to claim Universal Credit and Rate Rebate to help with their housing costs, rent and rates.

Universal Credit only pays towards the rent element of housing costs. Rates are paid through Rate Rebate.  You must ensure your tenant knows what his/her separate rent and rates amount are.

You can read more information about:

 The information in this section is for general advice only. 

Contact your local Housing Benefit office if you have any queries.

Find your nearest:

More help with paying your housing costs