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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

What renters want in response to Coronavirus

Between Saturday 21st and Wednesday 25th March, Renters’ Voice conducted a survey of private renters in Northern Ireland about their issues and concerns due to Covid-19 (or Coronavirus) and what measures private tenants feel would be of help as a result. 

Renters in Northern Ireland voice concerns about affordability and eviction

94 people responded to the survey, setting out concerns about affordability, access to benefits and eviction. 

  • Almost three quarters were concerned about their ability to pay their rent due to the impact of Covid-19.
  • Over one third said they had lost employment and over half of those who had lost work were self-employed, freelance or agency workers.
  • People who responded were in favour of a range of financial or practical measures that might help, with the highest numbers saying that they could benefit from increases to benefits, an emergency 'Universal Basic Income' or a temporary reduction or break from rent (if there would not be an expectation to pay this back later).
  • 7 in 10 also said that they could benefit from information and advice about rights as a private tenant during the Covid-19 crisis.
  • 6 in 10 said that preventing eviction proceedings against people who fall behind on their rent because of the crisis could help.

More information is available in the Renters' Voice Covid-19 Report. 

Renters voicing concerns to Minister for Communities

Renters’ Voice have now written to Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey, asking that serious consideration is given to these survey findings and the additional points raised in their letter when looking at measures that will help private tenants in the current crisis and beyond. In particular, they have asked that stronger measures than those previously announced are put in place to prevent evictions at this time and to provide financial support to meet the needs of people in different and diverse situations.

What is Renters' Voice?

Renters' Voice is a new project for people who rent privately in Northern Ireland to build a strong voice and influence landlords, politicians and government. They are supported by Housing Rights and funded by Nationwide Foundation.

To find out more about the Renters’ Voice project, please contact Claire Maddison

Tagged In

Coronavirus, Private Tenancies

This article was written on 6 April 2020. 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.