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Legislation

In the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chancellor decided to realign Local Housing Allowance rates so that they accurately reflected the 30th percentile of local rents. This announcement was widely welcomed, although many organisations argued that LHA rates should never have been allowed to drift so far from real market rents and that a more supportive emergency measure would be to increase the rates to the 50th percentile of local rents. 

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Legislation, Private Tenancies, Affordability

New regulations have been laid which will amend the income assessment rules for rates relief. The Rate Relief (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 are in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and the explanatory memorandum makes reference to a wider "ongoing policy development" of the rates relief scheme. The new regulations will come into effect on 4 January 2021.

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Coronavirus, Legislation

The ‘Perfect Storm’: The impact of Covid-19 on private renters

A new report on the impact of Covid-19 on private renters in Northern Ireland, shows that those living in the private rented sector have been disproportionately affected, caught in the ‘perfect storm’ of low incomes (often as a result of job losses, furlough or reduced hours), job insecurity and tenure insecurity. In part this may be due to the increasing proportion of low income households in the private rented sector, and as such a policy change in favour of social and affordable housing will be key to a post Covid-19 recovery. The research has also shown that the support that many households received has been immensely helpful, but it has also shown us that it is important to remember that we may all be in the same storm, but we are definitely not in the same boat.

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Coronavirus, Legislation, Regulation, Research, Private Tenancies, Policy

A new report on the impact of Covid-19 on private renters in Northern Ireland is launched today. The research uses evidence from case records relating to clients who contacted Housing Rights during the period March-June 2020 and shows that those living in the private rented sector have been disproportionately affected, caught in the ‘perfect storm’ of low incomes (often as a result of job losses, furlough or reduced hours), job insecurity and tenure insecurity.

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Coronavirus, Legislation, Regulation, Research, Private Tenancies, Affordability

New legislation has been enacted to resolve the irrationality identified by the Court of Appeal in Secretary of State for Work And Pensions v Johnson & Ors [2020] EWCA Civ 778. The plaintiffs in this case were penalised because they received two payments of wages in one Universal Credit (UC) assessment period.

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Legislation, Welfare Reform

The Housing (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2020 received Royal Assent on 28 August 2020. This intention of this act is to reverse the effect of the Office of National Statistics decision to classify housing associations as public bodies. One of the most significant changes the act will have for tenants is the removal of the statutory right for secure housing association tenants to purchase their home.

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Legislation, Social Tenancies

Housing Rights strongly welcomes Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín’s announcement of an extension to emergency measures designed to protect private tenants from eviction during the COVID-19 crisis.

An extended 12-week notice period must now be given in all cases where a private landlord wants a tenant to leave the property until at least 31 March 2021. The extended notice period was originally due to end on 30 September 2020.

This week the Housing (Amendment) Bill passed its final stage in the NI Assembly. In addition to other changes to the regulation of housing associations, the bill will end the compulsory house sales scheme for housing association tenants.

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Legislation, Social Tenancies, NI Assembly

Recent developments have necessitated a raft of new legislation impacting social security and housing issues. Some of the new statutory rules which are of most relevance to advisers are set out below

The Discretionary Support (Amendment No.2) (Covid 19) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020

NISR 2020 67

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Coronavirus, Legislation
 
Housing Rights’ annual Private Rented Sector Conference was held on Wednesday 20th November in the Skainos Centre. The PRS 2019 conference, which was sponsored by TDS NI, focused on raising standards in the private rented sector and the day was grouped into three sections:
  • Emerging Issues in the Sector
  • Current Challenges for Landlords & Tenants
  • Future Proofing the PRS

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Benefits, Brexit, Legislation, Outside NI, Regulation, Research, Social Tenancies, Private Tenants Forum, Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Policy

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