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Certificate of Fitness
To improve the standard of fitness of privately rented dwelling houses, the Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2006, introduces a system of inspection and rent control. The landlord is required to apply to the Council for a fitness inspection. This is to ensure that privately rented properties are ‘fit for human habitation’ and where they are found to be unfit, are subject to rent control and enforcement action taken where necessary.
Privately rented dwellings which require a Fitness inspection include:
Any property which was built before 1st April 1945 and the private tenancy began on or after 1st April 2007 (the commencement date of the Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2006); and
Excludes any dwelling which has been prescribed (see section below ‘Privately Rented dwellings which do not require a Fitness Inspection (prescribed dwelling houses).
You do not need a Certificate of Fitness for your dwelling house if:
- the tenancy began before 31st March 2007 (the day before the commencement date of the Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2006)
- your house was built after 1 January 1945 (we will assume that your property was built on 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)
- A HMO (Houses in Multiple Occupation) 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 as a multiple housing 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 Certificate of Fitness.
Application Evaluation Process
Checks will be carried out with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and we will write to the tenant to ask if they have any objections to an inspection. The tenant must reply in writing, and if they don’t reply, we must hold the application for 28 days before trying to arrange access to the property to carry out the inspection.
An inspection of the premises will then be carried out by the Council to determine if the property is deemed fit.
If the property is deemed fit a Certificate of Fitness will be issued. If the property is found to be unfit the landlord will be given a Notice of Refusal which will outline the type of work needed to make the property fit to live in. When the repairs are completed, you can re-apply for another inspection. If these works are not completed within a reasonable time, a Notice of Unfitness will be issued on the property.
Private Tenancies (Northern Ireland) Order 2006
The fee for an initial inspection is £50 which is non-refundable.
The fee for a re-inspection is £100.
Will Tacit Consent Apply?
Yes. Following receipt of an application and appropriate payment, and after the expiry of 28 days from notice of the application has been forwarded to the tenant, the Council will inspect the property and issue a Certificate of Fitness or Notice of Refusal, which will be issued within 70 working days of receiving the application.
Apply for Certificate of Fitness*
* It should be noted that payment by credit/debit card will delay the processing of applications until the payment has been cleared.
Alternatively, you can download application form to apply for Certificate of Fitness
Failed Application Redress/Applicant Redress
If the property is found to be unfit you will be given a Notice of Refusal which will outline the type of work needed to make the property fit to live in. When the repairs are completed, you can re-apply for another inspection.
If you are aggrieved by the Council’s decision to issue a Notice of Unfitness you can appeal, under Article 22 of the Order, to the County Court within 21 days.
In the event of a complaint the first contact can be made with the District Council. Alternatively, in the UK, Citizens Advice Bureau will give you advice. From outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre.
A register of addresses where Certificates of Fitness have been issued can be provided on request.
Under the Data Protection Act, Fermanagh & Omagh District Council has a legal duty to protect any information we collect about you. It will not be disclosed to any third party unless law or regulation compel such disclosure or unless we have been specifically asked to do so in order to deliver a service which you have requested.
T: 0300 303 1777
L: Fermanagh & Omagh District Council, Environmental Health Department, Townhall, 2 Townhall Street, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh BT74 7BA or The Grange, Mountjoy Road, Lisnamallard, Omagh, Co. Tyrone BT79 7BL