Make your voice heard – consultation open on the Private Rented Sector

The Department for Communities is currently reviewing the role and regulations of the private rented sector, and they need your feedback!

We’ve had a look at the proposal document and summarised the key points to give you a quick overview of the topics being covered:

-          Retrospective deposit protection for all deposits received before 1 April 2013

-          Extending the time limit to protect deposits from 14 to 28 days.

-          Removal of the time restriction for prosecutions related to tenancy deposit protection

-        Limiting rent increases to once a year

-          The allowance for penalties for non-compliance to be split between councils and tenants

-        Regulation of letting agents

-          Mandatory protection of deposits within a tenancy deposit protection scheme following fines for non-protection

-          Allowance for scheme administrators to work with housing associations to use monies in designated accounts to invest in affordable housing

-        Introduction of a housing panel

The consultation is open to everyone, including tenants, landlords and letting agents. It closes on 3 April 2017, so make sure to tell the department what you think before then.

If you’d like to find out more about the proposals, the Department for Communities are holding four public events across Northern Ireland:

·             Monday 13 February, 7.00pm – The Sandel Centre, 6 Knocklynn Road, Coleraine

·             Wednesday 15 February, 7.00pm – Craigavon Civic Centre, Lakeview Road, Craigavon

·             Monday 20 February, 7.00pm – Cookstown Enterprise Centre, Derryloran Industrial Estate, Sandholes Road, Cookstown

·             Wednesday 22 February, 7.00pm – Grosvenor House, 5 Glengall Street, Belfast

The events will include a question and answer session. If you’d like to attend, register your interest before Monday 6 February.