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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Housing Rights welcomes extension of emergency measures giving private renters continued protection against eviction

Leading housing advice charity, Housing Rights, has welcomed the extension of emergency measures which will ensure private renters continue to have enhanced protection against eviction during the period of COVID-19.

The Private Tenancies (Coronavirus Modifications) Act (Northern Ireland) 2020 came into effect in May 2020. The law means that the minimum notice period a private landlord can give to a tenant is 12 weeks. Today Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced that this important protection, which was due to end on 30th September 2021, will be extended until 4th May 2022.

Commenting on the extension, Kerry Logan, Policy Co-ordinator at Housing Rights stated;

“This extended protection is significant and very welcome. In practice it means that private tenants who would normally only be entitled to 4 weeks’ notice that their landlord wishes them to leave the property, will continue to be entitled to 12 weeks’ notice until 4th May 2022.

As a housing advice charity, a disproportionate number of the calls to our Helpline come from tenants renting from private landlords. While 19% of people in NI live in the private rented sector, around one third of the calls to our Helpline come from these tenants. We are therefore pleased that the Department for Communities has extended the enhanced legal protection available to tenants in this scenario.

Furthermore, it is our hope that this extension will pave the way for a permanent strengthening of protections for private renters through the Private Tenancies Bill, which is being considered by the NI Assembly.”

In welcoming the legislation, the charity highlighted the need for both landlords and tenants to be made aware of this new protection.

Ms Logan continued,

“Now that this important protection has taken effect, it is imperative that the Department for Communities and other stakeholders ensure that landlords and tenants are made aware. We would encourage anyone concerned about or affected by an eviction to seek advice by contacting our Helpline on 028 9024 5640.”


Notes to editors: 

  1. Housing Rights is the leading specialist provider of independent housing advice in Northern Ireland.  Established in 1964, the charity works to improve lives by tackling homelessness and housing problems. 
  2. For further information contact Kerry Logan at kerry@housingrights.org.uk.
  3. Spokespersons will be available for comment. 
  4. The Private Tenancies (Coronavirus Modifications) Act (Northern Ireland) 2020 can be found here.
  5. Department for Communities guidance for private landlords and tenants, in light of the Act, can found in Section 4 of the Coronavirus Housing Guidance for Private Rented Landlords and Tenants.
  6. The legislation only applies to the private rented sector and does not apply to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or Housing Associations.