Total: £0.00

picture of telephone  click icon for access to housing law in practice reference manual for membersMailing ListTwitterFacebook  YouTube

When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Key changes required in the private rented sector

Housing Rights has responded to the Department for Social Development's Discussion Paper on the Review of the Private Rented Sector.

Informed by the key issues faced by those living in the private rented sector contacting Housing Rights for advice and support, the organisation has encouraged the Department to introduce a number of key changes in the sector.

In 2014/15, over 40% of all enquiries received by Housing Rights related to problems encountered by clients renting privately. In the nine month period from April-December 2015, the Private Rented Sector was the most common category of enquiries received by our service in 13 out of the 18 Assembly constituencies (highlighed in blue on the map).

What changes Housing Rights want for the private rented sector

  • Housing Rights would like to see the introduction of mandatory landlord licensing. The benefits to both landlords and tenants, as well as to enforcement agencies, vastly outweigh the minimal costs involved which based on the information included in the discussion paper, is calculated to be £1.92 per week for landlords.
  • There needs to be action on key issues relating to affordability, including improving the operation of the tenancy deposit scheme and the regulation of letting agents including the practice of charging letting fees.
  • We would like to see the strengthening of security of tenure for those living in the sector including the introduction of the option of longer more secure tenancies.
  • The creation of an independent dispute resolution service to prevent homelessness and help sustain private rented sector tenancies.
  • The replacement of the current minimum fitness standard with a more comprehensive Health and Housing Safety Rating System.

Read the full Housing Rights response to the Review of the Private Rented Sector



This article was written on 12 February 2016. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.