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Communities Committee Launches Call for Views on the Private Tenancies Bill

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 05 October 2021

Reference: CFC 07/20/21

The Assembly’s Committee for Communities has today launched its ‘Call for Views’ on the new Private Tenancies Bill, which focuses on the role and regulation of the private rented housing sector.

If passed, this new Bill will provide tenants with better protection by ensuring landlords and agents meet regulations about the quality and safety of the accommodation offered. It also seeks to safeguard tenants by ensuring a legislative requirement for written tenancy agreements, restrictions on rent increases and an increase in the eviction notice period.          

Speaking after today’s launch, the Committee Chairperson, Paula Bradley MLA said: “The private rental sector has grown considerably over the past decade, particularly for the 25 - 34 age group. It now accounts for more than 17% of housing stock in Northern Ireland. This growth is likely to continue if first time buyers are priced out of the market due to rising house prices and the potential shortage of accessible and affordable mortgage products.

“While rogue landlords continue to be in the minority, the fact remains that they do exist, and with many of our citizens facing economic uncertainty and hardship, regulating this sector to better protect the vulnerable is a priority for the Committee”

Ms. Bradley continued: “My Committee is generally supportive of the key principals of the Bill. However, while it is a good starting point, we are aware that it may not address all of the issues within the sector and that there are longer term issues still to be considered. We will carefully scrutinise all aspects of this Bill, and if in doing so, we uncover any gaps in the proposals or crucial areas that we feel have been overlooked, we will not hesitate to seek clarification and propose amendments.”

Ms. Bradley concluded: “It is vital that as many people as possible, including the key organisations within the sector, advocates and importantly tenants themselves take this opportunity to provide their views on this important Bill.

“All of our local people deserve the basic right to live in a safe, secure and healthy home. We hope that the final Bill will be a first step towards bringing that aspiration closer to a reality for many within the private rental sector.”

The Committee’s ‘Call for Views’ and further information on how to respond can be accessed on the Northern Ireland Assembly website:

The closing date for responses is Friday 29 October 2021. 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors:

View further information on the detail of the Private Tenancies Bill.

The Committee for Communities membership is:

Paula Bradley MLA (Chairperson)

Kellie Armstrong MLA (Deputy Chairperson)

Andy Allen MLA

Stephen Dunne MLA

Mark H Durkan MLA

Ciara Ferguson MLA

Paul Frew MLA

Fra McCann MLA

Áine Murphy MLA

 

Media enquiries to:

Sinead Murphy

Deputy Communications Officer

Northern Ireland Assembly

Phone: 028 9052 5938      

Mobile: 078 998 64368

Email: sinead.murphy@niassembly.gov.uk

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