Do I need a Certificate of Fitness?
If you own a property built before 1945, which does not already have a Certificate of Fitness, and you have started or changed a tenancy since April 2007, you may have to apply for a Certificate of Fitness.
- You do not need a Certificate of Fitness for your house if it meets any of the following criteria:
- You own and live in your property.
- The tenancy began before Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2006 came into effect.
- The property was built after the 1st of January 1945.
- The NIHE has paid a renovation grant for the property.
- The NIHE has paid a HMO grant for the property.
- The property registered with NIHE for multiple occupancy.
- The property let under a protected or statutory tenancy where a regulated rent certificate has been issued.
To pass the inspection the dwelling must:
- Be structural stable.
- Be free from serious disrepair.
- Be free from dampness prejudicial to the health of the occupants.
- Have an adequate provision for ventilation, lighting, and heating.
- Have adequate piped supply of wholesome water.
- Have satisfactory facilities in the property for preparation and cooking of food, including a sink with hot and cold water.
- Have a suitably located toilet exclusively used by the occupants.
- Have a suitably located fixed bath or shower and hand-wash basin, all of which must have satisfactory hot and cold water.
- Have an effective system for draining foul, waste and surface water.
How to Apply:
You can apply for a Certificate of Fitness on the Belfast City Councils website. It costs £50 to apply for an inspection.
You can also request an application form by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and return the application via post, along with your fee to:
Public Health and Housing
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street
Timescales and Inspections:
After you apply for a Certificate of Fitness, it can take up to 1 month for an inspection to be carried out.
Following inspection, if your property meets the fitness standard for human habitation, you will be issued a Certificate of Fitness.
Once a Certificate of Fitness is issued, it will last indefinitely or until the council determines the property to be unfit later.
If your property is found unfit for people to live in, you will be issued a notice of refusal which outlines the work needed to make your property fit for people to live in. Once the repairs are completed, you can reapply, which will cost £100.
If you are a landlord and think you may need a Certificate of Fitness and want further legal advice, please contact the Conveyancing Team at O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors.