The Department for Communities intend to bring forward a Bill which will see the extension of the notice to quit period and safety standards that will enhance conditions for all those within the sector.
Said the Foyle MLA: “The Private Rented Sector has grown exponentially in recent years with the North has experienced the greatest level growth across these islands.
“Yet standards and indeed policy, has not managed to keep step with that surge within the sector.
“To date there has been no specific legislation in place to tackle poor safety standards, electrical or otherwise, within the Private Rented Sector nor has COVID support gone far enough to protect renters.
“However, I am pleased that work is now progressing to introduce a Private Rented Bill which will include wide-ranging protections.
“The Department have heeded calls from experts within the sector and intend to introduce a new provision that will impose duties on landlords to carry out periodic electrical inspections and provide local councils with enforcement powers.
“The extension of the notice to quit period is also a welcome step in the right direction.
“It is imperative that individuals and families who rent privately, many of whom have been forced into the sector most probably due to insufficient supply of social housing, are safeguarded through legislation.”
Mr Durkan added: “What is concerning, however, is that demand for social housing is set to rise with the end of furlough and as the full consequences of the past 14 months are realised.
“The housing system was already buckling under pressures pre-COVID and while these improvements within the Private Rented Sector are much needed and welcome, the Minister for Communities must set her sights on building more social homes to reduce the reliance on the Private Rented Sector.
“In doing so, we can ensure more affordable, safe and secure tenancies.”Tags: