for rent

07 Mar 24

Another council says it wants to implement private sector rent controls – although it has no power to do so.

Belfast council this week backed a motion from the Green Party to press the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont for powers to introduce controls.

The Belfast Live news website reports that Green councillor Mal O’Hara won backing from the majority of councillors for an amendment to a council decision to accept powers from the Stormont Department for Communities Private Tenancies Act, 2022.

O’Hara is reported to have told his colleagues: “I have just read an article on Belfast perhaps becoming the epicentre of the next rent crisis. We know we are in a housing crisis after decades of inaction and failure to build social or affordable housing in the North has led us to this point.

“I am sure many members will be able to tell anecdotal stories about hugely escalating rents in their areas. About tenancies being ended and the same house going back on the private rental market for hundreds of pounds more.

“Couple that with the cost of living crisis, the real terms freeze or decrease in pay, and the challenges people are facing are part of that perfect storm.”

The Green Party has already been central to the Scottish Government’s rent freeze and subsequent rent cap, and is pressing some other councils to adopt pro-rent control policies – although councils in England do not have individual powers to unilaterally impose private sector caps. 

The new Private Tenancies Act in Northern Ireland makes failure to protect a tenancy deposit a continuing offence, and obliges landlords to give their tenants a minimum notice-to-quit period. For tenancies lasting up to 12 months there must be a order to quit of no less than four weeks’ written notice, for tenancies of 12 months to 10 years there must be a order to quit of no less than eight weeks’ written notice, and tenancies above 10 years must receive no less than 12 weeks’ written notice.

In London and Bristol in particular, Labour council chiefs have made clear that they, too, want unilateral powers to impose private rental sector rent caps.

Link to original article

Thank you for reading

Need to discuss your issue? Confidential Call: 0208 088 0788 now.

Or fill in our contact form here.

Keep up with the latest from Landlord Licensing & Defence…

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to find all our videos on Regulations, RRO, HMOs and much more! 

Join our private Facebook Group where you’ll find a support network of other landlords and experts as well as case studies and how to avoid council fines.

Follow us on Social Media for the latest in Property and Licensing…

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}