05/11/2021

New Legislation Aims To Improve Private Rented Sector

Legislation aimed to reform the private rented sector, including increased protections for people and families, has been introduced by Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey

Announcing the new Bill, Minister Hargey said: "For many the private rented sector provides flexibility, for others it may be while they wait for a social home or one day own their own home. For all those who call the private rented sector home, they deserve safe, secure accommodation.

"I have already extended the emergency legislation I put in place at the start of the pandemic to extend the notice to quit period a landlord must give a tenant to 12 weeks. This will now be in place until May 2022.
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"The Bill I am taking through the Assembly will also deliver a number of protections for private renters including a permanent extension to the Notice to Quit period. In the longer term, I will address issues such as letting agent regulation, grounds for eviction and fitness standards."

The Bill contains a number of proposed improvements including:

• restricting rent increases to once in a 12 month period;

• extending the notice to quit period a landlord must give a tenant;

• setting limits on tenancy deposit amounts; and

• making it a mandatory requirement for private landlords to provide smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and to carry out periodic electrical checks.

The new Bill is currently at Committee Stage.

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