Assembly approves new Housing Bill

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 14 March 2011

Reference: SD 08/10/11

The Northern Ireland Assembly concluded its consideration of an important new Housing Bill today. The Bill will require all private landlords to sign-up to a register; introduce a scheme to protect private tenants’ deposits and will introduce fixed penalties for landlords who breach tenancy legislation.

Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Social Development Chairperson, Simon Hamilton, MLA said: “The Committee is very happy to support this important piece of housing legislation. Members championed a number of key changes to the Bill which will see landlords required to give long-term private tenants longer periods of notice when they wish to terminate the lease of their property.

“The Committee also introduced measures to the Bill which will provide greater protections for communities from anti-social tenants who have committed indictable offences. The Committee supported key amendments which will enable the Housing Executive to take a greater role in promoting community safety. The amendments also allow the Department to provide guidance to the courts when reviewing possession orders relating to anti-social behaviour.

“Housing matters affect every community and every family in Northern Ireland. The successful passage of this Bill will bring important changes for ordinary people throughout Northern Ireland. The positive conclusion of this lengthy process shows that the Assembly generally and the Committee for Social Development in particular are focused on the needs and concerns of everyone in Northern Ireland.”

The Final Stage of the Housing (Amendment) Bill concluded on 14 March 2011. The Bill is expected to become law later this year.

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