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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Landlord registration scheme delay

The Department for Social Development has written to stakeholders about the delay to the landlord registration scheme.

Regulations for the scheme were approved by the NI Assembly in September 2012 and it was intended that the scheme would be operative by June 2013.

Universal credit impacts on landlord registration

The Department has indicated that “…over the past 6 months a requirement from the Social Security Agency means that a joined up Government approach is the required way forward”. This refers to the introduction of Universal Credit and agreement that payment of the housing component will be made direct to landlords as the “default position unless opt out is requested and agreed.” According to the Department “A future intention is to connect the landlord registration database to the Universal Credit system to allow automation of the payment”.

The Department is working with the SSA and NI Direct to deliver a solution within a realistic delivery date.

Further amendments to landlord registration regulations needed

In order to facilitate direct payments the Department has indicated that further amendments to the regulations will be necessary. For example, the landlord registration database would need to be accurate at all times. However the regulations as drafted did not require landlords to update their details within the 3 year registration period. As such the regulations will have to be amended to require landlords to ensure their property details are updated as and when it changes.  These amendments will be subject to scrutiny of the Social Development Committee.

Landlord registration will not now be operational until later this year.

As an original stakeholder on the Department’s landlord registration scheme group, Housing Rights Service is concerned about the delay and is currently considering the implications of this development.

Tagged In

Landlord, NI Assembly, Private Tenancies

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