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When everyone has a home

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Private Tenancies

Phil Buckle Director generalElectrical Safety First is a campaigning charity dedicated to preventing deaths, injuries and damage caused by electricity.

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Fitness, Private Tenancies, Opinion

Set up in 2012 by Housing Rights, the Private Tenant’s Forum is a group of volunteers who advocate for changes in policy and legislation that will improve conditions for everyone living in the Private Rented Sector.  The forum has now been nominated for 'More than Bricks and Mortar' award in this year's Housing Awards.

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Private Tenants Forum, Private Tenancies

New legislation will alter the rating discounts available to landlords who pay rates in a lump sum. 

Article 20 and 21 of the Rates (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 allow certain landlords to avail of a discount on their annual rates bill if all rates due on their rental properties are paid in a lump sum by the end of September each year.    Landlords who wish to avail of these discounts have to create either an Article 20 or an Article 21 account with Land & Property Services. 

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Private Tenancies, Landlord

Christine Liddell is Professor of Psychology and Distinguished Community Fellow at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. She has recently co-authored an evidence based audit titled Fuel Poverty in Northern Ireland's Private Sector. 

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Private Tenancies, Policy, Affordability

With Welfare Reform back on the Assembly’s agenda, we look at one of the biggest housing welfare changes; the extension of the Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR) of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) to applicants aged under 35.  Ursula Toner explains which young tenants should be entitled to the one bedroom rate of LHA because they are exempt from the SAR.

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Benefits, Private Tenancies, Welfare Reform, Affordability

We’ve had a number of clients contact us recently saying that they’ve either been threatened with an illegal eviction or, in a few cases, that they have, in fact, been illegally forced out of their property by a landlord. In one case a client stated that the police were in attendance. Indeed, we have had some enquiries as to what role the police should play in an eviction.

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Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Landlord, Adviser

We've asked solicitor Chris McGrath to consider whether or not tenants are obliged to serve a notice to quit in order to bring a fixed term tenancy to an end.  

There are different methods a private tenancy can be brought to an end by the landlord or the tenant; these include

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Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Legal

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

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