Propertymark has given its broad support to a new Private Members Bill introduced into the Northern Ireland assembly, aimed at improving safeguards for private rental sector tenants.
Communities minister Deirdre Hargey’s bill outlines safety measures, restrictions in rent increases and extending notice periods.
Specifically it demands:
- making it a mandatory requirement for private landlords to provide smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and to carry out periodic electrical checks;
- setting limits on tenancy deposit amounts;
- extending the notice to quit period a landlord must give a tenant; and
- restricting rent increases.
A statement from ARLA Propertymark says that whilst the fire safety measures are a positive step to ensure tenant safety, there are some aspects some of the Bill which could demotivate existing landlords and discourage new landlords from entering the market.
Propertymark says that as the Bill progresses, it’s important the contributions of landlords are recognised.
Association spokesperson Daryl McIntosh says: “We welcome the proposal for additional safety measures for homes in the private rented sector, but it will be important to get the detail right to make sure they are effective in practice.
“Other measures introduced to protect renters must not be to the detriment to of landlords. It is important to recognise that landlords make an essential contribution to local housing systems providing homes for those who need them. Propertymark will be scrutinising the Bill as it progresses.”