New laws governing private tenancies in Northern Ireland will come into effect from 1 April 2023.
The laws will affect both landlords and tenants within the private rented sector. While tenants are not required to take any action, they are advised to be aware of how the new law will affect them and their tenancies.
When the law comes into effect from 1 April, private landlords will be required to take certain actions.
From 1 April 2023;
- Landlords must provide tenants with a notice containing tenancy information. This includes for current tenants who have not already received this type of tenancy information;
- Landlords must also provide tenants with a notice of variation when any changes are made to their tenancies;
- Landlords must provide receipts for any cash payment in relation to a tenancy;
- Landlords are only permitted to take or hold on to a tenancy deposit of no more than one month's rent;
- There will be increased time periods for protecting and providing information on tenancy deposits; and
- Failure to protect a tenancy deposit will become a continuing offence, as the previous six month time barrier to prosecution of tenancy deposit offence has been removed.
In the lead up to the changes, the Department for Communities is making tenants and landlords aware of how it may impact them.
More detailed information on the Private Tenancies Act is available on the dfc website: https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/publications/private-tenancies-act-northern-ireland-2022-guide-sections-1-6-tenants-and-landlords
All private landlords who let a property under a private tenancy should be registered under the Landlord Registration Scheme: https://landlordregistration.nidirect.gov.uk/
If you are a tenant and struggling with finances, a range of information is available on income support, housing and other areas, through the NI Direct website here: www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/cost-living