A recent research report from Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) in England has called for improvements at government level which would better the lives of households living in the private rented sector (PRS) in England. Whilst the research does not cover the experiences of those renting privately in Northern Ireland, the findings are of relevance and interest
Housing Rights believes that the current fitness standard applied to housing in Northern Ireland is unsatisfactory and needs replaced in its entirety. It is insufficient to make amendments to the standard which do not directly link housing with health. We believe that an internationally recognised system of best practice currently exists in the Housing Health and Safety Rating System and that the introduction of HHSRS would not only benefit householders and tenants across all tenures, but would be of particular benefit in addressing the problems facing some Section 75 groups.
This consultation response explains why Housing Rights believes that the HHSRS is the best option for making real improvements to the quality of housing and will tackle inequalities faced by those persons in Northern Ireland who are most at risk of poor housing.
Landlord licensing is set to be introduced for HMOs in Northern Ireland following the Assembly’s passing of the Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Bill. The Bill is currently awaiting Royal assent.
Although not solely focused on private rented properties, the HMO Bill is seen as a key component in improving regulation and standards within the sector. It is hoped the Bill will provide better protection for tenants living in houses of multiple occupation.
With Storm Imogen currently battering parts of the UK and Storms Jake and Katie presumably not far behind, it’s important for advisers to familiarise themselves with the newest government grant aimed at helping homeowners who have been adversely affected by flooding.