2022 to see legislation reforms for Northern Ireland landlords

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has this week outlined her plans to ensure people and families living in the private rented sector of Northern Ireland have a safe and secure home.

The Minister was speaking as she published the Departmental response to a consultation on proposals to reform the sector:

“My officials are working on drafting a Bill to deliver much need improvements.  This will include a longer notice to quit period.  For me, four weeks is too short a time for anyone to be asked to leave their home, find a suitable new house they can afford, maybe find a new school and childcare for their children, and pack up their belongings. It’s not enough.

“Rented homes should have safe electrics, and tenants should be safe from the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Homes should be warm and energy efficient.  I’ve also already started work that would see councils being provided with additional powers to strengthen and provide local enforcement.”

Delivering an ambitious reform of the private rented sector in this mandate, accompanied by primary legislation is challenging.  The Minister continued:

“It is clear reform is urgently needed to improve protections in the private rented sector particularly for the most vulnerable in our communities. The initial Bill is only the start. 

In the longer term I will also address issues such as Letting Agent Regulation, the introduction of Grounds for Eviction and Fitness Standards.  These improvements have been a long time coming and will enhance conditions for tenants living in the sector.”