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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Coronavirus

The Department for Communities is conducting some research into how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting on both landlords and tenants who live and work in the private rented sector in Northern Ireland. To assist with this the Department is seeking as much feedback as possible. 

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Coronavirus, Private Tenancies

One of the most welcome local interventions to assist private renters who have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the Housing Executive’s commitment to use the Discretionary Housing Payment scheme to restore vital welfare protections missing from Universal Credit.  Our advisers have been helping people to claim this assistance, but have come across a few incidences where the claimant isn’t

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Coronavirus, Private Tenancies, Affordability, Adviser

The Department for Communities has issued a number of pieces of guidance relating to housing and the housing market during the COVID-19 crisis. These include

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Coronavirus, Social Tenancies

The Work and Pensions Committee at Westminster published a report into the Department for Work of Pensions' response to the coronavirus outbreak earlier this week.

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Coronavirus, Outside NI

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued updated guidance to firms, which comes into effect on 4 June 2020 and will remain in force until 31 October 2020. This extends the deadline for requesting a mortgage payment until 31 October, and sets out the approach that firms should take to assist customers who have already requested a break in payments.

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Coronavirus

Confusion around the relaxation of movement restrictions in England have led to an increase in calls to our helpline from tenants who have been told to facilitate property viewings and inspections. There has been no change to the regulations in Northern Ireland which do exempt landlords or other property professionals from the general restrictions on public gatherings, movement and travel. The advice remains to stay at home.

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Coronavirus, Private Tenancies

Over 126,000 people in Northern Ireland were claiming Universal Credit on 26 April 2020, an increase of 80% from the figure of 70,000 claimants just 8 weeks earlier on 1 March, according to recently released information from the Department for Communities. The number of applications during that 8-week period totalled 65,700.

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Benefits, Coronavirus, Welfare Reform

Leading housing advice charity, Housing Rights, has welcomed the official passage of emergency legislation which gives private renters enhanced protection against eviction during the period of Covid19.

The Private Tenancies (Coronavirus Modifications) Act (Northern Ireland) 2020 was passed by the NI Assembly on the 28th April and came into effect on 5th May 2020.  The law means that, from yesterday, the minimum notice period a private landlord can give to a tenant is 12 weeks.

Commenting on the change, Kerry Logan, Policy Officer at Housing Rights stated;

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has made a number of changes which will give breathing space to people struggling with consumer debt during the lockdown. These temporary measures include assistance for people with overdrafts, credit cards, motor finance packages, payday loans and "buy now pay later" arrangements.

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Coronavirus, Regulation, Repossession, Affordability

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