It looks certain that a substantial number of pro-tenant reforms are to be introduced in Northern Ireland in the near future.
A Bill introduced to the Northern Ireland Assembly by communities minister Deirdre Hargey calls for:
- mandatory smoke and carbon monoxide detectors;
- mandatory periodic electrical checks;
- limits on tenancy deposit amounts;
- extended notice to quit periods; and
- caps on rent increases.
Hargey says: “Private renters should have access to good-quality, affordable homes with peace of mind over the length and conditions of their rental contract. I want to see restrictions in rent increases and I want to extend the notice to quit, meaning we protect tenants when it comes to evictions.”
ARLA Propertymark spokesperson Daryl McIntosh says: “We welcome the proposal for additional safety measures for homes in the private rented sector, but it will be important to get the detail right to make sure they are effective in practice.
“Other measures introduced to protect renters must not be to the detriment to of landlords. It is important to recognise that landlords make an essential contribution to local housing systems providing homes for those who need them.”
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