There is no specific right to housing under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). However, public authorities providing housing, such as the Housing Executive, must comply with the ECHR. If a social housing association carries out ‘public functions’ in providing housing, it must also comply.
The most relevant rights in housing matters include:
•the right to own, and enjoy the ownership of, property
•the right to respect for your private life
•the right to respect for family life, and
•the right to respect for your home.
Public authorities cannot discriminate against you in respect of any of these rights. If they do, you may be able to bring a claim in the courts.
You may also have private law rights in housing matters. These rights will vary depending on what type of tenancy you have. The Housing Rights Service’s online advice guide outlines the rights of tenants, your rights and responsibilities and tenancy agreements.
Organisations who can provide advice:
The Housing Rights Service provides free independent housing advice. They have an online advice guide or you can contact their advice line on 028 9024 5640 from Monday to Friday, between 09.30 and 13.30.