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Legislation

The Work and Pensions Committee has recommended outlawing the practice of refusing to rent out property to people in receipt of benefits.

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Benefits, Legislation, Policy, Equality

A number of statutory rules have been made by the Department for Communities in order to give effect to the new HMO regime coming into effect on 1 April 2019.  The Houses in Multiple Occupation (Commencement and Transitional Provisions) Order (Northern Ireland) 2019 brings any remaining provisions which were not previously enacted into force on 1 April 2019.  The commencement order also includes transitional provisions for properties already registered under the current registration scheme.

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Legislation, Private Tenancies

The Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2018 were laid before Parliament on 5 November 2018. The most significant change brought about by these regulations is the removal of the restrictions on Universal Credit housing costs claims by job-seeking 18 to 21 year olds, a policy that was introduced despite much criticism in 2017.

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Benefits, Legislation, Welfare Reform

Regulations were issued in August expanding the existing capital disregards relating to benefit arrears. Capital, resulting from a benefit arrear payable as a result of an error or on a point of law can now be disregarded for the lifetime of the benefit award. Previously, such capital could only have been disregarded for a maximum period of 52 weeks.

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Benefits, Legislation, Welfare Reform
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An estimated additional 177,000 properties in England are now subject to mandatory House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing as a result of the changes brought about by the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018.

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Legislation, Outside NI, Private Tenancies


Dr Julie Rugg and David Rhodes from the centre for Housing Policy at the University of York, launched a review called, ‘The Evolving Private Rented Sector: Its Contribution and Potential’. It was funded by the Nationwide Foundation, and released on Monday 10th September.

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Legislation, Outside NI, Research, Private Tenancies

Shane Clements from the Department for Communities (DfC) briefed members of the Housing Practitioners’ Forum on DfC’s current consultation on the Future of the House Sales Scheme, which closes on 24 September.

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Legislation, Research, Practical tips

Universal Credit is currently being rolled out across Northern Ireland, with a number of areas already under the scheme. It replaces Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits, Income Support, Income-based Job Seekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance and Housing Benefit (with the exception of exempt accommodation types).  Anyone of working age who currently receives these benefits will be affected.

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Legislation, Practical tips

The House of Commons has published a briefing paper “Can private landlords refuse to let to Housing Benefit claimants?”. The paper discusses private landlords’ reluctance to let to Housing Benefit claimants and considers whether this is a form of discrimination.

Some of the suggested reasons why landlords may be reluctant to rent to Housing Benefit claimants include;

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Benefits, Legislation, Homelessness

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