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National Asylum Support Service (NASS)

A former agency of the Home Office that was created to administer the asylum support system. The system is now administered by UKVI.

Negative equity

When the lender is owed more than the current market value of the property. Negative equity usually occurs if property prices fall after buying the home, or if repayments are missed.


Very basic emergency accommodation, which usually consists of a bed in a dormitory or a room shared with other people and is usually only available during the night.


Nightstop is a service available to 16- to 25-year-olds who are homeless or likely to be made homeless. A bed is provided in a private room, one night at a time. An evening meal, breakfast, bath or showers are also provided. The volunteers who provide the accommodation are called hosts.


A non-dependant is an adult son, daughter, friend or relative living with a claimant for housing benefit. When calculating housing benefit a deduction will be made for a non dependant, unless it is specified that because of the age, income or circumstances no deduction is to be made.

Non-dependant deduction

An amount of money deducted from housing benefit because there is an non-dependant adult in the household (see non-dependant above). It is assumed that such an adult will make contributions towards the rent, whether such contributions are made or not.

Non-priority debt

Debts for which the consequences of non-payment are usually less serious than not paying a priority debt. Creditors must sue the debtor for a money judgment before enforcing the debt. Non-priority debts include: store and credit card debts, hire purchase agreements, unsecured bank loans, water bills, and loans from friends and family.

Notary public

A solicitor authorised to administer oaths and authenticate documents.

Notice of commencement

This is one of the documents that is served on the party who is to pay the costs of a case, warning the level of costs claimed and explaining how to obtain a detailed assessment of the costs.

Notice to quit

A notice to quit (NTQ) is written notice given by the landlord or tenant to end a contractual periodic tenancy. A NTQ served by the landlord must include prescribed information.


A problem that affects the comfort or quality of life of the public, or the occupier of a particular property. This is a legal term, which has a different meaning from its everyday meaning. Some examples of problems that might constitute a nuisance are noise, pollution, or serious disrepair to a property.