Bill to improve tenants’ protections in Northern Ireland clears second stage
Legislation to improve protections for Northern Ireland tenants living in the private rented sector have cleared the second stage in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The Private Tenancies Bill, introduced just before the summer recess, restricts rent increases to once a year and extends the notice to quit period a landlord must give a tenant.
The bill also set limits on tenancy deposit amounts and makes it a mandatory requirement for private landlords to provide smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and to carry out periodic electrical checks.
Communities minister Deirdre Hargey said: “This bill will ensure that those renting privately have access to good quality housing with peace of mind over the safety and security of their home.
“As I said when I introduced the bill, this is just the beginning of my reform of the housing system. In the longer term I will address issues such as letting agent regulation, grounds for eviction and fitness standards.”
She added: “As the sector is increasing in size, and houses a wide variety of people, it is important to make improvements and future proof it to ensure greater protection for private renters.
“This bill will make the private rented sector a safer and more secure housing option for people living in it by improving the standards and conditions.”