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Tenant’s Obligations and Responsibilities

As a tenant of SMHA you have certain responsibilities and obligations towards the Association. These obligations are legally binding as part of your Tenancy Agreement and failure to adhere to one or more of these obligations may lead to the Association seeking possession of the property through the courts.


To pay the rent and rates as well as any other charges, regularly and promptly when due.

Repairs and Maintenance

  • To maintain the dwelling in a clean and tidy condition, including gardens and outside areas within the boundary of the dwelling;
  • To make good any damage to the dwelling wilfully or negligently caused by the tenant or any other person lawfully living in or lawfully visiting the dwelling;
  • To maintain and keep in repair anything which is a tenant responsibility (See Section 3 of your tenancy agreement);
  • To report all defects and repairs (that are the responsibility of the Landlord) to the Association as soon as you become aware of them (See Section 3 of your tenancy agreement).

Use of Dwelling

To use the dwelling as a private dwelling house and your principal home. You can only run a business from your home with the express written permission of the Association. To obtain this you must provide written details of the nature of the business and you will be contacted accordingly.



To occupy the dwelling as the only principal home to maintain your status as a Secure or Introductory tenant. If the Association has reason to believe that this is not the case you may be issued with a Notice of abandonment or further legal action to regain possession of the property.


Nuisance to Neighbours and Anti-Social Behaviour

​The tenant is responsible for the behaviour of every person (including children) living in or visiting the tenants home. This includes responsibility for their behaviour in the home on surrounding land, in communal areas (stairs, lifts, landing, entrance halls, paving shared gardens, parking areas) and in the locality of the dwelling house.


Caravans, Vehicles and the like

Not to park or allow being parked any caravan, boat, vehicle or other items or goods within the curtilage or neighbourhood of the dwelling in such a position or in such a manner as to cause a nuisance or annoyance to the occupiers of any neighbouring or adjoining premises.


Gas Cylinders

Not to store any Liquid Petroleum Gas if the dwelling is a flat or maisonette within a complex of two or more storeys in height

Not to store any Liquid Petroleum Gas without the written permission of SMHA if the dwelling is any other type of flat with shared access.


In General Needs accommodation the tenant will usually be allowed to move into the property with the pet but you should have written permission before doing so.

Not to keep any domestic pets without the consent in writing of SMHA (if the dwelling is a flat or maisonette or sheltered scheme).

You do not require written permission to keep caged birds or small fish in tanks, however dangerous pets will not be allowed in any circumstances. Permission must be obtained before a pigeon loft is erected.

Written permission is required to keep more than one domestic animal and all pets must be kept under control and supervised at all times.



You must not erect within the boundary of the dwelling any movable or immovable structure or adaptation without the prior written consent of the Association.


Planning and Building Control

Not to permit the dwelling to be used in any way contrary to the Planning (NI) Orders, the Building Control Regulations or any amendment or replacement of such Orders or Regulations.
Not to breach, permit or suffer any breach of:-

a) the Planning (Northern Ireland) Orders or;
b) the Building Control regulations or;
c) any amendment or replacement of those Orders or Regulations.



To pay for the replacement of any lost keys



allow persons authorised by the Chief Executive and SMHA employees’ reasonable access for the purposes of:

  • viewing its condition; or
  • reading, installing, servicing, improving or removing meters; or
  • carrying out any works of repair; or
  • carrying out any other works (whether of improvement alteration or otherwise)
  • SMHA will normally (except in the case of Emergency): give at least 24 hours notice before exercising any right of access and not seek to exercise such a right of access at any time prior to 9.00am or 6.00pm.

Tenants are advised to check the credentials of anyone wishing to gain access to the dwelling.

Waste and Provision of Bins

All tenants will be provided with a “wheelie bin” at the beginning of your tenancy. The cost of replacement of the bin through loss or damage is the responsibility of the tenant.

All household rubbish should be placed in the bin a left in the designated area for collection on the day specified by Belfast City Council. Bulkier items can be collected by Belfast City Council free of charge. You should pre-arrange this with the council and only leave these items out on the day of collection to prevent nuisance or danger to your neighbours. Alternatively you can dispose of waste yourself at any of the Council’s recycling and waste centres.

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