All private landlords must register with the Department for Communities (DFC) Landlord Registration Scheme.
Registration lasts for three years, and landlords must re-register after each three-year period.
It costs £80, but if you register online you'll get a £10 discount.
If you are a tenant, you can check if your landlord is registered, and if they’re not, you can report them to us to investigate.
We enforce this scheme. If a landlord fails to register or provides false information for registration we can issue them with a fixed penalty of up to £500, or take offenders to court where they could be fined up to £2,500.
If you need more advice, please visit www.housingadviceni.org (link opens in new window) or contact Housing Rights who have introduced a Landlord Helpline. The contact number is 028 9024 5640.
How to register
If you let a privately rented house, you must provide your tenants with a rent book.
Tenancy Information Notice
For any tenancy beginning on or after 1st April 2023, a landlord must provide a Tenancy Information Notice to the tenant within 28 days of granting the tenancy and it must be free of charge. The format of the tenancy information notice is set in law and a template notice is available from the Department for Communities (link opens in new window).
Landlords must provide the same notice to tenants whose tenancies were granted between 30 June 2011 and 30 March 2023, unless they have already been provided with the same information.
If a tenancy term is varied (regardless of start date of tenancy) the landlord must within 28 days of date of tenancy being varied, give to the tenant a notice containing information relating to variation. It must be free and the format of the notice is set in law also.
For more information relating to Tenancy Information notices and other private tenancy matters please visit the Ni direct (link opens in new window).
The tenancy deposit scheme
Any deposit for a private tenancy taken by a landlord or agent must be protected in an approved tenancy deposit scheme. For more information visit the tenancy deposit scheme page.
For more information about your rights as a private tenant, visit Housing Advice NI.
A mediation service is available to those currently living or providing accommodation in a private rental. The service is funded by Department for Communities and is operated by Housing Rights. The Housing Mediation Service is free and is open to:
- Registered Landlords
- Letting agents
- Housing associations operating in the sector
The service can help with many kinds of disputes including:
- Property standards
- Entry rights Rent/rates arrears
- Unprotected tenancy deposits
- Threatened evictions
- Breach of tenancy terms
- Noise or anti-social behaviour
When both parties in the dispute have agreed to take part in mediation an independent mediator with specialist housing knowledge helps the parties talk about their dispute and come to a solution that works for everyone.