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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Private Tenancies

Chris McGrath, Solicitor at Housing Rights Service provides a comprehensive analysis of the Superstrike judgment and its impact in Northern Ireland

A recent UK court of appeal judgment concerning the protection of tenants' deposits when a tenancy becomes periodic has been the subject of much discussion.  This decision may impact on tenancy management practices in Northern Ireland.

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Private Tenancies, Landlord, Legal

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has announced that, from 1 November 2013, letting fees must be disclosed when advertising rental properties. The announcement followed a ruling made by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in March 2013.

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Private Tenancies, Landlord, Legal

A long awaited strategy to tackle the problem of empty properties has just been launched by the Department for Social Development (DSD). The Empty Homes Strategy and Action Plan 2013-2018 aims to bring the estimated 32,000 empty homes across NI into use.
Speaking about the new strategy, the DSD Minister, Nelson McCausland said:

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Private Tenancies, Policy, Homelessness

New research confirms that there is a direct link between good housing and good health.

Based on the findings of the 2009 Northern Ireland House Condition Survey, the research shows:

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Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies

New regulations come into force on 1 September 2013 which will change how Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates are set in future.

Since 2011, LHA rates have been set using the lowest 30% of rents (the 30th percentile) in selected geographical areas known as Broad Rental Market Areas.

Further changes were introduced in 2012 to allow the rate of LHA to be frozen for a year and to have it linked to the Consumer Price Index.

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Private Tenancies, Affordability

Response to the Home Office Consultation on Tackling Illegal Immigration in Privately Rented Accommodation

Housing Rights Service and Law Centre (NI) have recently responded to this Home Office consultation. Under the proposals all private landlords will have to carry out checks on the immigration status of every tenant before renting out a room or house. This response highlights our concerns and criticisms over these measures.Both agencies are opposed to the proposed checking scheme outlined in the consultation.

We fear the proposal will result in migrants being treated in a discriminatory manner and more individuals (whether migrants or not) threatened with homelessness. We believe the Home Office need to reconsider these plans in the light of the many criticisms raised in this response and by other landlord and tenant groups.

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Private Tenancies, Policy, Equality, Landlord

Housing Rights Service and Law Centre (NI) have recently responded to the Home Office consultation ‘Tackling illegal immigration in privately rented accommodation’. Under the proposals all private landlords will have to carry out checks on the immigration status of every tenant before renting out a room or house.

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Private Tenancies, Policy, Equality, Landlord

Our housing advice line gets stacks of queries about renting privately.  A lot of the PRS cases that come through to me and my colleagues could have been prevented at the start of the tenancy if the tenant or the landlord was better prepared.

We get a lot of calls in September and October each year from people who've signed up to a tenancy that hasn't worked out.  The reasons that people have for wanting to get out of agreements are understandable, some common issues are:

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Private Tenancies, Practical tips, Landlord, Adviser

The Housing Executive has just launched its latest Review and Perspectives on the Northern Ireland Housing Market for 2013 – 2016. The document looks at the prospects for the local housing market against a backdrop of what is happening in the economy and population changes.

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Private Tenancies, Social Tenancies

New figures released today (14 August 2013) by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme Northern Ireland show that local tenants are paying higher deposits than previously estimated.

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Affordability, Private Tenancies

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