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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Putting tenants at the heart of private rented sector – Minister Hargey

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has today introduced a Private Tenancies Bill in the Assembly improving protections for tenants living in the private rented sector.

Minister Hargey said: “I am putting the needs of tenants at the heart of my approach. Private renters should have access to a good quality, affordable homes with peace of mind over the length and conditions of their rental contract. There needs to be improved health and safety measures to keep people and families safe. I want to see restrictions in rent increases and I want to extend the notice to quit meaning we protect tenants when it comes to evictions.

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“I’m committed to making our housing system better for people and families. The housing market has changed dramatically over the past few decades, so our legislation needs to keep up.”

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The Minister concluded:  “This is just one of the much needed steps in my reform of the housing system, and there is more to come.  In addition to this bill, I have tasked my officials to undertake further work to ensure more protections are provided to those living in the private rented sector.”

The Bill contains a number of proposed improvements including:-

  • making it a mandatory requirement for private landlords to provide smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and to carry out periodic electrical checks.
  • setting limits on tenancy deposit amounts;
  • extending the notice to quit period a landlord must give a tenant; and
  • restricting rent increases.
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