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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Right to rent checks not scheduled for NI in February

From February 2016 landlords in England face financial penalties and prosecution if they rent to someone who does not have a legal right to be in the UK.  The roll out of the "right to rent checks", introduced by the Immigration Act 2014, has not yet reached Northern Ireland and local landlords can continue to do business as usual.   The changes were piloted in the West Midlands, and are an element of the government’s plan to create a ‘hostile environment” for migrants who are here without the necessary permissions.  Landlords who rent property to people who are in the UK illegally face significant fines.  

No introduction date for right to rent checks in Northern Ireland

No date has yet been established for these measures to be introduced in Northern Ireland. However, local landlords should prepare for the introduction of these changes and familiarise themselves with guidance available on government websites.  The guidance includes a code of practice, aimed at helping landlords avoid illegal discrimination when attempting to carry out these checks. 

The wider roll out of the checks will go ahead, despite a damning report issued by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in 2015 which uncovered a number of worrying direct and indirect impacts of these checks on both tenants and landlords.

Training on status of foreign nationals and on private rented sector

Housing Rights regularly runs a popular course explaining the housing rights of foreign nationals who live and work in the UK.   Another course, The Definitive Guide to Renting Privately in Northern Ireland, explains the rights, responsibilities and obligations of tenants and landlords in Northern Ireland.   To find out more about either course or book your place, contact Bronagh McCulla on 028 9024 5640.

Tagged In

Minority Groups, Private Tenancies, Landlord

This article was written on 15 January 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.