The Private Tenancies (Northern Ireland) Order 2006
If you own a property which was built before 1945 and you have started or changed a tenancy since April 2007 then you may need to apply for a Certificate of Fitness. This legislation requires Landlords to apply within 28 days of the new tenancy starting. The Northern Ireland Housing Executive may require it if you accept tenants whose rent will be paid by Housing Benefit contributions.
Certificates of Fitness do not Expire and there is no requirement to apply with each new tenancy. If a Certificate of Fitness is already in effect, a new application is not required. If an application is received for a property already in possession of a Certificate of Fitness, any fees paid will not be refunded.
Requirements and Exemptions
These notes describe the requirements and exemptions: Notes regarding Fitness Inspection Application
Apply for a Fitness Inspection
You can download the application form below or collect one from our offices at the Town Hall, Bangor Castle or Church Street, Newtownards. Completed forms should be returned to Ards and North Down Borough Council, 2 Church Street, Newtownards, BT23 4AP. Please ensure that the Inspection Fee of £50 is included. Payment by Cheque is preferred, but should you require an alternative payment method, please contact us to discuss. Do Not Send Cash Through The Post.
Landlord Fitness Inspection Application Form and Notes
Apply for a Re-inspection
If your property has been found to be Unfit and you have been issued a Notice of Refusal, when you have completed the works required to make the property Fit, you may Re-apply for an Inspection.
You can download the application form below or collect one from our offices at the Town Hall, Bangor Castle or Church Street, Newtownards. Completed forms should be returned to Ards and North Down Borough Council, 2 Church Street, Newtownards, BT23 4AP. Please ensure that the Re-Inspection Fee of £100 is included. Payment by Cheque is preferred, but should you require an alternative payment method, please contact us to discuss. Do Not Send Cash Through The Post.
Landlord Fitness Inspection Re-Application Form and Notes
Inspection and Powers
For dwelling houses which do not require a Certificate of Fitness, if we receive a report of a housing problem or issue, or a tenant or landlord requests it, we can carry out property inspections of dwellings.
Depending on the conditions of the dwelling we have powers to issue one of the following notices:
- Statutory Nuisance Abatement Notice
- Notice of Unfitness
- Notice of Disrepair
Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011, if we are satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists we will serve a statutory nuisance abatement notice on the person responsible for the nuisance, or if appropriate the owner or occupier of the premises.
We can issue these notices on both social and private landlords.
Examples of statutory nuisances:
- damp caused by defective roof, leaking internal pipes, rising
- dry rot to timbers
- fumes or carbon monoxide from central heating boilers, open and glass fronted fires, fumes from oil leaks
- defective drains causing sewage to overflow or allowing rats to escape
- accumulation of offensive material, rubbish, or dog mess
The notice will specify the works required to correct the nuisance, and will specify a time frame within which the works must be completed.
Failure to comply with this notice is an offence. If you do not comply with a Statutory Nuisance Abatement Notice you can be fined up to £5,000.
The above abatement notice entitles private landlords to apply for a Northern Ireland Housing Executive repair grant. For further information, please contact the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, T: 03448920900 Website: www.nihe.gov.uk
Find out more about Damp and Mould: Damp and Mould Information Brochure
Notice of Unfitness
Under the Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2006 if we are satisfied that a privately rented dwelling is unfit to live in, we may serve a Notice of Unfitness on the owner of the property if this is the most appropriate course of action.
If a landlord refuses to comply with a Notice of Unfitness they can be fined up to £2,500.
If the dwelling was built before 1 January 1945, and is unfit, we will notify the Department of Social Development, Rent officer, and they may reduce the rent.
And if a tenancy began after 1 April 2007, and the dwelling was built before 1945 then the landlord may need to apply to us for a Certificate of Fitness.
If we deem the house unfit, this does not mean the tenant must vacate the property. However, if extensive works are required, they may be required to vacate the property temporarily.
If we are satisfied the property is unfit, we will write to the landlord in the first instance advising them what steps are required to make the house fit.
If the landlord does not agree to do the works outlined in the letter we will issue a Notice of Unfitness. This notice will specify the works required, and a timescale within which the works must be completed.
Failure to comply with this notice is an offence.
Notice of Disrepair
Under the Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2006 we can issue Notices of Disrepair on any private landlord where their rented property is fit but there is substantial disrepair, or where the disrepair is such that it would affect the comfort of the tenant, for example, a defective central heating system.
In most cases we will notify the landlord of our intention to issue a Notice of Disrepair, and will outline the works required. If the landlord does not agree to do the works outlined in the letter we will issue a Notice of Disrepair.
The Notice of Disrepair will specify the works required, and the timeframe for completion. If a landlord does not comply with the Notice of Disrepair we can take legal action and they can be fined up to £2,500.