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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

December 2020

Our latest briefing paper looks at the issue of intimidation points, following on from  then Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín’s commitment to reviewing these points. Housing Rights welcomes this commitment and shares the Minister’s reservations regarding the original proposal to completely remove this award without alternative necessary safeguards. We believe a blanket removal would be too simple a sol

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Social Tenancies, Homelessness
Photograph of properties to let in Belfast

In 2017, Housing Rights, with the assistance of PILS NI,  supported local student Paul Loughran in a legal case against two estate agents. Mr Loughran sought to recover fees he had paid to both agents when he applied for a private tenancy.  

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Private Tenancies

New regulations have been laid which will amend the income assessment rules for rates relief. The Rate Relief (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 are in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and the explanatory memorandum makes reference to a wider "ongoing policy development" of the rates relief scheme. The new regulations will come into effect on 4 January 2021.

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Coronavirus, Legislation
showing over 500% increase in renters seeking advice because property is for sale

Our advisers have noted an increase in the number of people contacting us for help because their home is being sold by their private landlord. 

We’ve already received as many calls about this issue in the first 9 days of December than we had during the whole of March, April and May of this year.It’s important that tenants know what their rights are if their landlord decides to sell their home, and know how to get advice and help if they do need to move. 

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Coronavirus, Private Tenancies, Practical tips

new report on destitution in the UK from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) finds a steep rise in the number of individuals and households experiencing destitution since 2017.  Belfast was one of 18 areas in which research to inform the report was carried out.

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Research

On 17 November 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) updated its guidance to lenders on dealing with mortgage holders impacted by COVID-19. Two sets of guidance have been issues: 

Housing Rights recently launched  Impact Report for 2020 highlights the impact that our services, our advisers and our caseworkers have had on people struggling with housing issues in Northern Ireland.

Making an impact through advice work

This year has presented us with many challenges, but we have adapted and ensured out services have remained for those in housing need.  

Housing Rights held its annual conference on the private rented sector on the 25 November 2020. TDSNI sponsored this year’s conference, with support from PropertyPal and 

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Private Tenancies