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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

New Corona guidelines for rental sector in different parts of country

Different guidelines have been issued for the rental sector in different parts of the British Isles as devolved administrations get to grips with the Coronavirus crisis.

On the Channel Island of Jersey the island’s government has introduced new regulations for the private rented sector, lasting until the end of September.

Under the regulations, tenants cannot be evicted for failing to pay rent or other bills if they face financial hardship because of the virus; landlords cannot increase rent, even if tenants were notified of a rent increase before lockdown; and tenants can extend their tenancies if they are due to end before October 1 this year - any fixed-term tenancy that is due to end before that date may continue as another fixed-term tenancy or periodic tenancy.

The Jersey government also advises tenants struggling to pay rent due to COVID-19, which could include a loss of a job, ill-health, or a reduction in working hours and salary, to write to their landlord with proof. 

Meanwhile the Northern Ireland Executive has amended the notice to quit periods set out in the Private Tenancies (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 from four to 12 weeks during the pandemic.

The power-sharing administration says this is to ensure that tenants in the private rented sector are provided with some protection during the crisis. 

The Executive also wants to reduce the movement of people between households, allowing shielding of vulnerable people, self-isolation, and social distancing in line with the Chief Medical Officer's recommendations.

In Northern Ireland, the private rented sector consists of 134,000 homes and is the fastest-growing tenure; it currently constitutes 18 per cent of the total housing stock.

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