Paying your rates
Updated: 18 Jan 2017
People on low incomes, including pensioners, may receive a reduction in their rates through the Rate Relief Scheme, which is only available in Northern Ireland. Rate Relief may be payable to you if you receive either no help or partial help with rates through the Housing Benefit scheme.
The Rate Relief Scheme helps you if you are on a low income, and:
- you and your partner's total capital and savings do not exceed £16,000, if you are under pension age
- you are a pensioner and you have savings of up to £50,000.
I am already receiving or have claimed Housing Benefit, what do I do next?
Nothing, if you are currently receiving Housing Benefit you need not do any thing. We will contact you if we require any further information.
I am not claiming Housing Benefit. How do I apply for Rate Relief?
Even if you're not sure whether you can claim Housing Benefit, or if you have tried to claim in the past but not been successful, you should apply again, because you may be entitled help through the Rate Relief Scheme. To receive an application you should contact any Housing Executive office.
How is Rate Relief paid?
As a Housing Executive tenant Rate Relief is paid into your rent account and so reduces the amount you have to pay.
As a Housing Executive tenant, who can I contact for more information on Housing Benefit or Rate Relief?
You can contact any Housing Executive office.
Are there any circumstances when I can get a rates exemption?
Yes, there is a rebate for persons with a disability.This scheme provides help with your rates for domestic properties that have been specially adapted for the benefit of a person with a disability living in the property. From 1st April 2007 the scheme was simplified and successful applicants receive a 25% reduction in their rates.
If you currently receive a reduction in your rates at a rate higher than 25% then you will continue to receive the higher reduction when the new scheme is introduced. If you wish to make an application under the existing scheme you may obtain an application form by contacting any Land & Property Services office. Alternatively you may download an application form from the LPSNI website
Additional help for carers
From 1 April 2011 there is increased help for carers. This is provided through the existing Rate Relief Scheme with a 20 per cent uplift in the carer premium. This will ensure that more households get help with their rates and will also increase the amount of support provided to those currently in receipt of the carer premium and who receive some Housing Benefit and/or Rate Relief.
This additional help for carers is included in applications for Rate Relief from 1st April 2011.
If you apply for help, you must still pay your rate bill while your application is being assessed. If your application is successful Land & Property Services will refund the amount you have overpaid or credit the amount due to your account.
Any help you receive may depend on your income, savings, size of your rate bill and whether other people live with you.
The same application form is used for both Housing Benefit and Rate Relief and the same appeal processes apply to both.