Consultation on private rented sector

December 11, 2015

A discussion document on the matter of the private rented sector has been published to seek views on how the sector can be made a more attractive and viable housing option.  The private rented sector has seen considerable growth over the past number of years as well as an increased government focus on how the sector is regulated.  Several pieces of legislation have been implemented in recent years including the Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2006 Tenancy Deposit Schemes Regulations (NI) 2012 and Landlord Registration Scheme Regulations (NI) 2014.  Minister Storey has stated that “ the private rented sector is helping to meet housing need and provide an important housing option for a range of individuals and families.  Landlords who are currently registered have provided details of some 94,000 private tenancies.  My department has done a lot in recent years to improve regulation of the sector, but with its growth, the time is right to review the role of the sector and to consider the effectiveness of current legislation”

The discussion document will be seeking responses to a number of questions including:

Role of the private rented sector – what support is appropriate for both Landlords and Tenants?

  • Supply and Investment – should the private rented sector have a role in addressing housing supply and if so should government incentivise growth and investment?
  • Housing and tenancy management – what, if any changes are needed to current regulation?
  • Property standards – should there be improvements made to current property standards?

A copy of the discussion document is available on the DSD website Consultations section http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/consultations/review-role-and-regulation-private-rented-sector .  Responses should be received by 5 February 2016 and the next step in the consultation process will involve a public consultation on the way forward.