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Updated: 22 Mar 2019
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The scheme is designed to help provide access to the private rented sector as an alternative to waiting for social housing
Private rented sector

The Private Rented Sector Access Scheme

One of the key themes of the Homelessness Strategy 2012 – 2017 is “to reduce the length of time households experience homelessness by improving access to affordable housing”. One of the ways we have sought to do this is by the introduction of a Private Rented Sector Access Scheme. It will help to provide access to the private rented sector as an alternative to waiting for social housing in high demand areas.
How does the scheme work?
The Private Rented Sector Access Scheme is operated by Smartmove Housing and was initially available to full duty applicants on the social housing waiting list. The scheme is now available to everyone across Northern Ireland who may be in housing need and is a key service to help prevent homelessness. The scheme can now be accessed by all customers seeking a long-term housing solution.   Customers can be referred to the scheme by the Housing Executive and a range of agencies working to prevent homelessness or they may approach Smartmove directly as a self-referral.  Also if a customer’s existing private tenancy is in danger of breaking down a referral may be made to Smartmove Housing as that organisation may be able to assist in preventing homelessness.
Smartmove Housing removes the need for costly up front deposits by administering a rent bond guarantee scheme for each tenancy for a 12 month period, and also provides a management service for participating landlords for six months (including landlord/tenant mediation where necessary). There is also an advice and support service for tenants where necessary. Smartmove Housing also operates a savings scheme.
Who is eligible?
The Scheme is now available to all customers across Northern Ireland who are seeking an affordable long term housing solution in the private rented sector.
Contact details for Smartmove Housing are below.
Local Office Districts covered Smartmove Email Smartmove Telephone
North Belfast North Belfast 07711368513
South and East Belfast South and East Belfast 07725688204
West Belfast Shankill & West Belfast 07894096205
North Down and Ards Bangor and Ards 07921064799
South Down Newry & Downpatrick 07921064797 07711368514
Lisburn / Castlereagh Dairyfarm, Lisburn & Castlereagh 07834774519 07834774520
South Craigavon, Banbridge, Armagh 07921064799
South West Omagh, Cookstown, Dungannon, Fermanagh 07921064799
South Antrim Antrim, Newtownabbey 1 & 2 07834774518
East Ballymena, Magherafelt, Larne, Carrickfergus 07834774517
West Waterloo Pl, Waterside,  Collon Terrace & Strabane 07872685206 07894096209 07894096209
Causeway Coleraine, Limavady, Ballymoney, Ballycastle 07921064799