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Private Tenancies

Northern Ireland has seen home ownership fall from 73% at its peak in 2006, to 63% now. A think tank from the Resolution Foundation used data from the Office for National Statistics' Labour Force Survey (LFS) to look at home ownership in the UK. 

They found that Northern Ireland has seen the biggest fall in home ownership in the UK.

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Money Matters, Research, Private Tenancies, Affordability

Our adviser Severina recently helped a client claim a huge overpayment of rent back from an estate agent.  The client, Lesley, had overpaid her rent account by a sizeable amount during the three years she had lived in her private tenancy.  It can be difficult to reconcile the amount of rent owed with the amount of money paid towards rent.  For this reason, it’s vitally important that tenants keep accurate accounts of all payments they make and get and keep receipts for any cash payments made

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Benefits, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies, Adviser

The Housing Executive has recently released their ‘Mapping Foreign Nationals Living in Northern Ireland’ report. Estimating the number of foreign nationals living in Northern Ireland can be difficult. But this report uses information from the Census 2011, information gathered from the NIHE local offices and other key reports.

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Minority Groups, Research, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies

Since landmark judgments in the Pinnock and Powell cases back in 2011, housing practitioners and legal professionals have questioned how human rights arguments can be applied to possession proceedings in the privately rented sector.  Carmel Ferguson, Solicitor with Housing Rights, considers a recent Supreme Court judgment that delivers clarity on this issue.

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Repossession, Private Tenancies, Case law, Legal

Housing Rights response to fitness consultation June 2016

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.

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Fitness, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies, Policy

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.

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Fitness, Regulation, Private Tenancies, Case law, Landlord, Legal

On Tuesday 17th May, Housing Rights hosted a policy seminar on tools for raising standards in housing. We gathered a panel of expert speakers to discuss options for raising housing standards, in light of the Department for Communities’ ongoing review of the Housing Fitness Standard.

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Private Tenancies, Policy

A second group of Syrian refugees have arrived in Northern Ireland. These individuals and families are being relocated in Northern Ireland in accordance with the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme 2015.

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Benefits, Minority Groups, Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies

A recent Northern Ireland Court of Appeal judgment, Argue V Northern Ireland Housing Executive Neutral [2016] NICA 18 (5 April 2016)  considers the provisions of the Defective Premises (Landlord's Liability) Act (Northern Ireland) 2001.

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Social Tenancies, Private Tenancies, Case law, Landlord, Legal

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