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.
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.