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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Private Tenancies

A new statutory instrument takes effect on 20 January that will allow for the uprating of Local Housing Allowance by up to 4% in certain parts of Northern Ireland.  This is to prevent certain areas becoming unaffordable to tenants in receipt of housing benefit. 

Which areas will be affected?

This legislation provides for the LHA rate for the following size of dwelling in the following areas to be increased by up to 4%:

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Benefits, Money Matters, Private Tenancies, Welfare Reform, Affordability

All landlords of properties which are rented out to tenants in Northern Ireland must register their details by the 25 February 2015.

The Department for Social Development, which is responsible for overseeing the private rented sector, is currently promoting the Landlord Registration Scheme throughout Northern Ireland. Any property owners who fail to comply with the scheme may face a fine of up to £2,500.

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Private Tenancies, Landlord

Tenants who are having problems in their privately rented homes can now turn to a new service for assistance.  Smartmove Housing is providing a tenancy sustainment intervention service as part of the Private Rented Sector Access Scheme, funded by the NI Housing Executive.

What is a Tenancy Sustainment Intervention scheme?

Smartmove officers can intervene in a failing tenancy and work with the tenant and the landlord to try to improve the situation.

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Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Landlord

UPDATE: Two courts in England have now ruled that an agent's refusal to allow an applicant to view a property because the applicant was in receipt of benefits was unlawful and indirectly discriminated against the applicant on grounds of gender and discrimination.  Read more about this case on Shelter's website.

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Benefits, Money Matters, Private Tenancies, Landlord

Going to court and facing the possibility of eviction or repossession creates unimaginable stress for many people.  Every day Housing Rights Service sends two specialist advisers, Maria and Eamonn, out to court hearings across Northern Ireland to offer free advice and representation to people who are attending court to try to save their homes.

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Repossession, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies
 
We've storified some of the highlights from our Bigger & Better conference so those of you who weren't able to attend can see some of what you missed.  
 

Conference highlights #prsplus

 

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Private Tenants Forum, Private Tenancies, Policy

Over 100 delegates attended a packed conference held in Belfast on the 6th November that was aimed to open debate on how the Northern Ireland private rented sector (PRS) can genuinely offer a more viable and attractive longer-term tenure option. The audience, made up of government officials, advice workers, academics, landlords and tenants, heard from speakers across the UK and Ireland.

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Private Tenancies, Policy, Landlord

Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA has announced a review of the private rented sector.

Speaking at our Bigger & Better conference yesterday, the Minister said “…now is the right time to look again at the regulation of the private rented sector.”

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Private Tenancies, NI Assembly

Private tenants have, for the first time, published proposals for improving rented accommodation in Northern Ireland. The Private Tenants’ Forum has produced an ‘Agenda for Action’ which sets out 8 practical ways to improve rented accommodation in Northern Ireland.

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Private Tenants Forum, Private Tenancies, Policy

Two topics that often strike fear into the heart of an adviser are protected tenancies and the appointment of a receiver.  We recently had a case where both these issues combined, causing much confusion and distress to the tenant.

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Repossession, Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Adviser

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