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Public Health & Housing

If you are a landlord and you ask us to serve a Public Health Notice on your house, one of our Environmental Health Officers will inspect your premises. If we are satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists, we will serve an Abatement Notice on you, telling you to put the problem right. It is not the disrepair (bad condition) which creates a statutory (legal) nuisance but whether or not the disrepair is causing conditions that are bad for health.

Your Responsibilities
You should finish the work needed to put the nuisance right within the time stated on the notice. If you do not satisfactorily finish the work, we will apply for an order from the local magistrates’ court. We must do this by law and have no choice in this matter. The court has the power to make an order and also give you a penalty.

Northern Ireland Housing Executive Grants
You may be eligible for a grant if you need to pay for repairs to your property. The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) Repair Scheme Grant is organised by the NIHE and is paid to the owner or agent of a property. For more information about the Repair Grant Scheme, visit the Northern Ireland Housing Executive website or call 03448 920 900.

Certificate of Fitness
Under the Private Tenancies (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 landlords who own certain types of properties must apply to us for a Certificate of Fitness. Tenants can also apply for a fitness inspection in the same way, using the same form. We will then inspect your property and decide whether to issue you with a Certificate of Fitness or a Notice of Refusal.

Regulation Summary

 Application Evaluation Process
Note 3 of the Private Tenancies (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 (Article 33) explains which dwelling houses do not need a fitness inspection. You do not need a Certificate of Fitness for your house if:

  • the tenancy began before the Private Tenancies (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 came into force
  • was built after 1 January 1945 (we will assume that your property was built in or before 1945, unless you tell us otherwise in your application form or you can provide us with documented evidence, showing that it was built after this date)
  • a renovation grant for the house has been paid by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (this only applies for a period of ten years from the date of the grant)
  • an HMO grant has been paid by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (this only applies for a period of ten years from the date of the grant)
  • it is currently registered with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive for multiple occupancy
  • it was formerly let under a protected or statutory tenancy where a regulated rent certificate has been issued. This only applies for a period of ten years from the date of the certificate.

If your property meets any of these criteria, you do not need to apply for a fitness inspection and you do not need to complete the application form.

If you submit an application, and we later discover that your property does not need a fitness inspection, your application fee will not be refunded.

Timescales and Inspections
After you apply for a Certificate of Fitness, it can take up to one month for us to conduct an inspection of your property. We carry out checks with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, and we also have to write to the tenant to ask if they have any objections to the inspection. The tenant must reply in writing and, if they don’t reply, which is common, we must hold the application for 28 days before passing it to an inspection officer. We will then try to arrange access to the property by contacting the tenant, landlord or agent.
If your application is accepted, we will contact you to arrange an inspection. If your property is deemed fit, we will give you a Certificate of Fitness. However, if your property is found to be unfit for people to live in, you will be given a Notice of Refusal. This outlines the type of work needed to make your property fit for people to live in.

Once the repairs are completed, you can reapply for another fitness inspection. If your property fails our inspection, your rent may be controlled by a rent officer from the start date of your tenancy.

Application fee
It costs £50 to apply for a fitness inspection. This fee is non-refundable. The fee for a re-application for a fitness inspection is £100.

Returning your application form
Your application must be returned within 28 days of the start date of a new tenancy. It is an offence not to return your application within this period.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?
No. It is in the public interest that the dwelling must be inspected in order to determine whether the house is fit for human habitation. A certificate of fitness cannot be issued without having assessed the property against the fitness standards.

If you have not heard from the council within a reasonable period, please contact us. You can do this through the Environmental Health Department on 0300 0300 900  or at

Forms to Download, print and post

Public register
No Information held

Failed Application Redress
You are advised to take up any issue with the council in the first instance.

Other Redress
Any complaints in relation to fitness of properties should be made directly to the Environmental Health Department.

Useful links

  • Rent Officers website click here
  • Housing Rights website click here