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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Private Tenancies

The Housing Mediation Service operated by local charity Housing Rights and funded by the Department for Communities, offers tenants and landlords in the private rented sector a new way of finding agreements that are sustainable and satisfactory for both parties.

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

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

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;

Between Saturday 21st and Wednesday 25th March, Renters’ Voice conducted a survey of private renters in Northern Ireland about their issues and concerns due to Covid-19 (or Coronavirus) and what measures private tenants feel would be of help as a result. 

Renters in Northern Ireland voice concerns about affordability and eviction

94 people responded to the survey, setting out concerns about affordability, access to benefits and eviction. 

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Coronavirus, Private Tenancies

Housing Rights' Mediation Service is continuing to operate during the current pandemic. Just last week an agreement was facilitated between a Landlord and private tenant.

Landlord Joan got in touch with the Housing Mediation Service as her relationship with her tenant, Mary, was breaking down.

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Coronavirus, Private Tenancies

How the Assembly can deal with housing problems created by Covid-19

This briefing paper details the ways in which we foresee Covid-19 and associated economic fallout impacting on homelessness and housing in Northern Ireland. It includes measures which we believe Government can take to cushion some of the worst impacts and help vulnerable people at this unique and troubling time. 

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Benefits, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies, Welfare Reform, Homelessness

When Universal Credit was introduced, our advisers worried that well-established principles covering complex areas of housing benefit law would not be ported across to the new regime. One particular area of concern was the provisions which allow a claim for assistance with housing costs to be disallowed where the decision maker suspects that the claim has been contrived in order to take advantage of the benefits system.

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Benefits, Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Adviser


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