Propertymark is calling on candidates in next week's Northern Ireland Assembly elections to support policies that will increase housing supply and drive up standards in the property sector.
The professional body for property agents wants the new Executive to do four things.
Firstly, Deliver more housing by meeting the quotas set by the Housing Supply Strategy, incentivising investment in the private rented sector, opposing any form of rent control, and bringing empty homes back into use.
Secondly, Raise the quality of the existing housing stock through long-term funding for energy efficiency improvements.
Thirdly Improve regulation and professionalisation by introducing mandatory qualifications and fit and proper person tests, and a dedicated housing tribunal.
And fourthly Support private sector landlords and tenants by simplifying guidance on private tenancies so landlords and tenants understand their rights and responsibilities, and introducing an annual national housing survey to gather data to inform future housing policies.
Daryl McIntosh, Propertymark’s policy manager for the UK devolved nations, says: “Our manifesto highlights four areas we believe the next Executive of the Northern Ireland Assembly needs to focus on to ensure that everyone has access to a good quality and affordable home.
“Progress has been made by the incumbent Executive on a number of housing issues, most notably the passing of the Private Tenancies Bill and the forthcoming Housing Supply Strategy, but there is still much more to be done to regulate the sector and improve property standards.
“The next mandate is an opportunity for issues relating to supply and standards to be addressed and we're calling on all parties to recognise the crucial role played by those in the property sector to meet these needs.”