Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQs) about Apex services
We hope our list of Frequently Asked Questions will help you find the answer to your question.
If you live in an Apex home, you can also view My Apex which contains all the information you need about your tenancy with us.
How do I contact Apex?
You can contact Apex by telephone on 028 7130 4800 during office hours, 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.
To contact Apex out of hours emergency repairs, Freephone 0800 731 3081. Out of hours emergency repairs is only available after 5pm Monday to Friday, weekends and bank holidays.
How does Apex use my personal information?
While delivering our services, we will process personal data about you (which may be held on paper, electronically, or otherwise) and we recognise the need to treat it in an appropriate and lawful manner.
We take the issue of security and data protection very seriously and strictly adhere to guidelines published in the Data Protection Act of 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679.
How can I engage with Apex and become more involved in my community?
Our tenants and residents are encouraged and enabled to engage with Apex and their community in a variety of ways. Our ‘Menu of Options’ allows tenants and residents to engage in a way that best suits them.
Options include responding to surveys, attending community information events or scheme meetings; or joining the ‘Interested Tenant Register’.
Tenants who want to be more actively involved in their community and with Apex are supported as a ‘Connected Tenant’, with help and regular updates from their Tenant Engagement Officer.
To find out more, view Tenant engagement on My Apex.
Applications & allocations
How do I apply for an Apex home?
If you are not a social housing tenant, you can apply to be placed on the waiting list by contacting your local NI Housing Executive (NIHE) office on 0344 892 0900, by calling into your local office for an application form or online at nihe.gov.uk. The NIHE will assess your eligibility for social rented housing.
If you are currently a tenant of the NIHE or another housing association, please contact your landlord directly to apply for a transfer.
The Housing Selection Scheme is used to assess housing needs for both applicants and transfers. If you are deemed eligible after the assessment you will be placed on the social housing waiting list.
NIHE provide a useful video which outlines how they assess applications for social housing in Northern Ireland.
How does Apex decide who is allocated a home?
Like all social landlords, Apex uses the Common Selection Scheme Waiting List to allocate housing to the highest pointed eligible applicant. The NI Housing Executive (NIHE) carries out all assessments for new applicants. When you apply for social housing, NIHE will first assess if you are eligible. If you are, they will award you points based on your housing need. These points determine your position on the waiting list.
Points will fluctuate and the waiting list changes daily. Therefore, at any given time, Apex cannot confirm points which will guarantee an allocation.
How do I find out my list position?
Waiting lists constantly change, so we do not provide details about list positions.
How do I apply for a Transfer?
If you are a tenant of Apex, please contact your Housing Officer who will arrange for an application form to be sent to you. Following receipt of the completed application form, your Housing Officer will arrange a home visit to complete an assessment. If a home visit is not possible, your Housing Officer will make alternative arrangements with you.
If you are a tenant of the NI Housing Executive (NIHE) or another housing provider, please contact them directly to apply for a transfer.
How do I check that I have all the points I’m entitled to?
If you are a tenant of the NI Housing Executive (NIHE) or another housing provider, please contact them. We cannot comment on points unless you are an Apex tenant.
When are new-build sites allocated?
Allocations for new-build homes are completed approximately 4-6 weeks prior to the anticipated completion date of each property. For large developments, allocations will often take place in phases.
How can I find out when Apex are allocating new-build homes?
We do not advise when a new development or phase will be released. It is up to you to ensure you are on the correct waiting list. When allocating, we only consider those on the list with active applications.
I have received an Expression of Interest letter. How do you decide who is offered the property?
If more than one applicant expresses an interest, the person who is highest placed on our waiting list will be offered the tenancy. If applicants have an equal number of points, we will offer the property to the applicant who has been on the waiting list for the longest period of time.
How will I know if I’ve been offered an Apex home?
We will contact you by phone and e-mail, as well as sending a formal offer to your current address by post. If you cannot receive post, please ensure this information is included in your application.
Antisocial Behaviour (ASB)
What is Anti-social behaviour?
Anti-social behaviour means acting in a manner which may cause annoyance to neighbours or those living close by. For a list of ASB examples, visit My Apex.
How do I report incidents of ASB?
You can report anti-social behaviour to any member of the Housing Team on 028 7130 4800 or email your Housing Officer directly.
If a crime has been committed, you should also contact the PSNI.
For noise complaints and nuisance regarding pets, you should also contact your local council. Your Housing Officer can provide the relevant contact details.
Who will investigate my ASB complaint?
Your Housing Officer will investigate your complaint. We also have dedicated Anti-social Behaviour Officers who can investigate more serious cases of ASB.
How long does an ASB investigation take?
We will try to conclude all ASB investigations as quickly as possible. Sometimes when additional supporting information is required, there may be delays. We will aim to keep you up to date on progress.
Careers at Apex
How do I find out more about a career at Apex?
Home adaptations & improvements
I am disabled and need some help to be able to live in my home. Can you help?
How do I apply for an adaptation to my home?
You should contact your GP and explain the difficulties you are experiencing. Your GP can refer you to an Occupational Therapist at your local health trust who can assess your circumstances and recommend aids or adaptations you may require.
For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone our Development department on 028 7130 4800.
Can I make improvements to my home?
Yes, but you must obtain prior written permission from us where you propose to:
- Carry out any structural alterations or make alterations or additions to the premises or adjoining properties, including those to fixtures and fittings such as fireplaces, kitchen units and bathrooms;
- Erect a shed or any structure whether fixed or portable;
- Decorate any part of the exterior of the premises;
- Install a satellite dish;
- Erect or make alterations to fences or walls or any boundary lines.
We can advise you on the most appropriate way of carrying out alterations. Please contact our Property Services department to request a home improvements form or visit, or for further advice.
How do I pay my rent?
There are several quick and easy ways to pay your rent. These include online, by direct debit, using an Allpay Swipe Card, debit/credit card or cash. To find out more, visit My Apex.
You are responsible for payments reaching Apex on time. The rental period is weekly and begins on Monday of each week. You can pay weekly, fortnightly, four weekly or monthly in advance and upon arrangement with your Housing Officer.
I can’t afford to pay my rent. What should I do?
Please contact your Housing Officer as soon as possible. They can assist with rent repayment plans and provide you with advice. A referral can also be made to one of our Welfare Advice Officers, who can provide advice and assistance. This service is free and confidential.
You also have the option of contacting our Welfare Advice Service directly. Please phone 028 7130 4800 or email email@example.com.
I’m on benefits and don’t pay rent but I’ve been told I’m in arrears – how is this possible?
You are responsible for ensuring your rent is paid. If there is any shortfall between your total charges and benefits received, these are your responsibility to pay. You should contact your Housing Officer to discuss. Our Welfare Advice Service can also review your benefit entitlement and ensure your income is maximised.
How often does my rent increase?
Your rental charge changes annually on the first Monday of April. We are required to provide you with at least four weeks’ written notice of changes to your rental charges. You should therefore receive a notification letter in early March.
What do I need to do when I’m informed about my rent increase?
If you pay your rent by direct debit, your Housing Officer will amend this to reflect your changes and will advise you of this in advance.
If you claim Housing Benefit, we will provide an update of your increase to them, but you should check the information Housing Benefit receives is correct.
If you claim Universal Credit, it is your responsibility to update your online account to reflect your new rental charge, but only on or after the first Monday in April.
If you do not claim any help towards housing costs, by either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, it may be worth speaking to one of our Welfare Advice Officers for a benefit check. Even if you work, you may be entitled to help with housing costs. It’s always worth checking.
Repairs and maintenance
What repairs am I responsible for?
There are a limited number of items for which you are responsible. A full list of responsibilities can be found at My Apex.
You are also responsible for obtaining home contents insurance, as our insurance only covers the structure of the building and the fixtures and fittings for which we are responsible. Read more about the importance of home contents insurance at My Apex.
How do I report a repair?
The quickest and easiest way to report a repair is online. Alternatively, you can also report a repair by speaking to someone in our Property Services department by phoning 028 7130 4800.
You should always report repairs or other maintenance issues promptly. We will inspect your property to determine the cause and work with you to resolve the issue.
If an emergency repair is required outside office hours (9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday) you should telephone our out of hours emergency repairs on freephone 0800 731 3081.
How long will my repair take?
We sort repairs into three categories – emergency, urgent and routine. Each category has a maximum response time to complete the job:
Emergency – 24 hours
Urgent – 4 working days
Routine – 20 working days
What should I do if a repair isn’t finished, or done well enough?
If you’re unhappy with a repair we have undertaken, please let us know. We’ll work with you to understand what happened and do our best to put it right.
Contact our Property Services department on 028 7130 4800.
Do I have to let Apex into my home to carry out safety checks and maintenance?
Yes, we carry out annual gas safety and regular electrical checks in all our homes. Not only does this help to keep you and your family safe, it’s also a legal requirement.
We will arrange for your boiler to be serviced and will contact you in advance to notify you. We’ll do our best to work around your schedule, so please contact us straight away if an appointment isn’t convenient.
What type of supported accommodation does Apex offer?
We offer a range of supported housing for older people; people with mental ill health, learning disabilities or alcohol/drug addictions; those who are physically disabled and young people in need of support.
What is sheltered housing?
Sheltered housing provides independent living for people aged 60+ in a secure setting with low level support, helping you look after your wellbeing and remain connected in your community. A scheme manager is usually available on-site Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (hours may vary depending on scheme) with Radius Connect 24 providing cover outside these times.
What is Housing with Care?
Housing with Care is housing for older people who require some support to maintain their independence. You will be assessed to ensure the service meets your needs.
What is Nursing Care?
Nursing care provides 24-hour care and support and is suited to older people with more complex and ongoing medical conditions and needs.
What accommodation is available for people with mental ill-health?
We offer accommodation, support and care for people aged over 18 with an enduring mental health issue and who are known to the health and social services team.
What accommodation is available for people with a learning disability?
We offer accommodation, support and care for single people over 18 years of age with a learning disability and who are known to the health and social services team.
What accommodation is available for young people in need of support?
Strand Foyer supports young people aged 18 to 25, offering accommodation, support, training and employment opportunities designed to improve independent living skills.
How do I apply for supported accommodation?
Our supported accommodation is allocated through the Housing Selection Scheme. Applicants must apply to NI Housing Executive (NIHE). Housing association tenants should apply through their own landlord as a transfer applicant.
For Housing with Care, learning disability or mental health applications, there will be a complex needs officer in NIHE who will complete a further assessment regarding care needs.
Anyone applying to one of our mental health or learning disability schemes must be known to the mental health/learning disability team and have a social worker.
Applications to our hostels and foyer can be direct; through a social worker or referral agent; or through NIHE.
How do I apply for nursing care?
A referral can be made by your Health & Social Care Trust. To be eligible you must have a physical illness and/or disability and require 24-hour nursing care.
If I own my own home, can I apply for sheltered housing or Housing with Care?
Yes, the application process is the same if you are a homeowner. You must apply to NI Housing Executive (NIHE) and the assessment is a points-based system based on housing and health needs. Homeowners may be self-funding once allocated a property, but this will not stop a homeowner from applying for accommodation.
Are pets allowed in supported accommodation?
There is a ‘no pet’ policy in our supported housing schemes. However, if you are allocated a bungalow within a sheltered housing scheme, you may have a pet for which you are responsible.
Can I have family or friends stay in my sheltered accommodation?
This depends on the size of the property. If your home is a one-person one-bedroom property, a maximum of one person can stay overnight due to health and safety reasons. We do have a guest room in each scheme, which can be booked by your family members or friends in advance.
How do I report a repair in supported accommodation?
All repairs should be reported to your Scheme Manager, who will contact our Property Services department.
What if I wish to move on?
If you wish to terminate your tenancy, we request four weeks’ written notice to the Scheme Manager / Housing Officer. You will be liable for rent during this period.
How do I apply for a joint tenancy?
A joint tenancy is where two or more people sign to be jointly responsible for a tenancy. Your Housing Officer can provide advice on the application process including any supporting information you will be asked to provide.
The other tenant in my joint tenancy is moving out, but I want to stay. What is the process?
A remaining joint tenant can submit an application for a sole tenancy of your current accommodation. Details on the process can be provided by your Housing Officer.
I want to end my tenancy, what should I do?
You can terminate your tenancy at any time. You must provide Apex with at least four weeks’ written notice. If your circumstances change, you can extend your period of notice or cancel your termination any time before your current tenancy comes to an end.
I live in an Apex property and the tenant has died. Can I take on the tenancy?
When a tenant dies a remaining household member may be able to succeed to the tenancy. Your Housing Officer can provide advice on the application process, including any supporting information you will be asked to provide.
How can I apply to swap homes with someone else?
Most tenants can request to transfer or exchange their property for alternative social housing. If you are interested in a direct exchange, please contact your Housing Officer to discuss.
Tenants can use HomeSwapper, a free online service to look for homes that are available to exchange.