The bill will provide essential reforms within the Private Rented Sector including electrical safety requirements and notice to quit enhancements, giving private tenants more time to vacate their property and secure alternative accommodation.
Said the Foyle MLA: “After what has been an arduous and uncertain few weeks, I’m glad that much needed protections for private renters has now been secured.
“To date there has been no specific legislation in place to protect people within the private rented sector.
“The bulk of these tenants consist of young families mostly lone parent households, who will have been most adversely impacted by the pandemic and whose financial outlook may be even more precarious given the cost -of-living crisis striking our communities.
“The provisions set out in this bill will prove crucial for them in the time ahead- from improved electrical safety to notice to quit enhancements.
“This much needed legislation marks the first step of a robust framework of measures to strengthen tenancies by improving safety, security and quality of the Private Rented Sector.
“I hope that efforts are also made by the Minister Hargey to lift the cap on Local Housing Allowance rates to provide an added layer of protections for low-income households who private rent, as they navigate soaring food and energy prices.”
He added: “I would like to pay tribute to all the agencies within the housing sector particularly Housing Rights, who have helped to push and progress for this vital piece of legislation – it could not have been achieved without their contribution, assistance and continued patience.
“It is important to note that this is just the beginning of the legislative process and I look forward to future reforms around rent controls, fitness standards and grounds for evictions.”