Nicola McCrudden is the Policy & Communications Manager at Housing Rights Service. Below she describes her recent experiences of possession hearings at Laganside county court.
Sitting in Laganside county court, Belfast, on a Thursday morning listening to a stream of possession hearings made me confident of the need for a pre-action protocol for non payment of rent in social housing.
Here at Housing Rights Service we do a lot of work helping tenants who live in social housing deal with rent arrears and housing benefit problems. There are so many different aspects to advising someone in this situation that I thought it might be helpful to look at some of the most important elements of a rent arrears case.
Since 1997, Ricky Rowledge has been Director of the Council for the Homeless (NI), the sole umbrella body representing homelessness agencies throughout NI. She currently sits on a number of policy and practice working groups including the Northern Ireland Homelessness Strategy Steering Group, and the Promoting Social Inclusion working group on homelessness.
Below she describes what she would ask for if granted three wishes by the Housing Genie.
A recent case before the Upper Tribunal in England looked at the effective date for the backdating of Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). SMI is a government scheme which provides assistance to homeowners facing problems meeting some of their housing costs.
Chris McGrath, Solicitor at Housing Rights Service provides a comprehensive analysis of the Superstrike judgment and its impact in Northern Ireland
A recent UK court of appeal judgment concerning the protection of tenants' deposits when a tenancy becomes periodic has been the subject of much discussion. This decision may impact on tenancy management practices in Northern Ireland.
The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has announced that, from 1 November 2013, letting fees must be disclosed when advertising rental properties. The announcement followed a ruling made by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in March 2013.
A long awaited strategy to tackle the problem of empty properties has just been launched by the Department for Social Development (DSD). The Empty Homes Strategy and Action Plan 2013-2018 aims to bring the estimated 32,000 empty homes across NI into use. Speaking about the new strategy, the DSD Minister, Nelson McCausland said:
The Lord Chief Justice believes, in cases of social housing rent arrears, it would be helpful for all parties to be aware of the steps that the court will expect to be taken before starting court action. A draft pre-action protocol setting out these steps has been released for consultation.