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31 October 2014
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Fitness Inspection of Private Rented Property

Certificate of fitness of properties

Licence summary
 
Under the Private Tenancies (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 (Article 33), we carry out inspections to check whether properties are fit to live in.
Eligibility Criteria
This means landlords who own certain types of properties must apply to us for a Certificate of Fitness.

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 i.e. before 1st April 2007
  • 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.

If your property is deemed fit, following the inspection, a Certificate of Fitness will be issued.
 
About your inspection
If your application is accepted, we will contact you or your tenant to arrange an inspection. If your property is deemed fit, we will issue you with a Certificate of Fitness.

However, if your property is found to be unfit for people to live in, you will be issued with 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. Please make all cheques payable to Ballymena Borough Council
 
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 can not 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. Contact details shown below.
Apply online
To apply on line click here 
Contact Details
Telephone: 028 2566 0300
Fax:             028 2566 0455
Ballymena Borough Council
80 Galgorm Road
BALLYMENA
BT42 1AB
Failed Application Redress
You are advised to take up any issue with Ballymena Borough Council first.
Other Redress
Any complaints in relation to fitness of properties should be made directly to the Environmental Health Department.
Trade Associations
None
Useful links
 
Rent Officers website at: www.rentofficer-ni.gov.uk
Housing Rights website at: www.housingrights.org.uk

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