Landlord Registration Scheme

February 17, 2014

The Landlord Registration Scheme (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2014

With the passing of The Landlord Registration Scheme (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2014, landlord registration has now come to Northern Ireland and will commence from 25 February 2014. From that date, all private landlords will have to be registered under the Scheme and it will be an offence to dommence a new let of a residential property under a private tenancy without being registered.

If the property is currently let the landlord must register by 25 February 2015, allowing 12 months from now to register. If the property is let on or after 25 February 2014 the landlord must register immediately prior to letting.

Once a landlord is registered they will be issued with a Certificate of Registration which will be valid for three years from the date of registration and will contain their unique registration number.Landlords will then be notified four weeks in advance of the expiry of their current registration at which point the landlord must update his details to the registration and pay another registration fee.

Landlord Agents

Agents will be able to register the landlord by agreement with them but responsibility to register falls solely on the landlord and the agent cannot be liable for the landlord’s failure.

Why has the Landlord Registration Scheme been introduced?

The Landlord Registration Scheme will collect and maintain up-to-date and accurate information on landlords and their properties.

A centrally held register of private landlords will:

 Allow tenants, neighbours and local council to identify if landlords are registered
 Provide information on the number of landlords in Northern Ireland
 Allow landlords to receive regular updates on the duties and responsibilities of landlords and tenants

What information is available?

Information may be disclosed to:

 A district council to enable or assist it to carry out its legal duties
 The Department of Finance and Personnel Northern Ireland to help it to carry out its legal duties for rating purposes
 The Northern Ireland Housing Executive for the purposes of administering housing benefit and the regulation of Houses in Multiple Occupation

The only details visible to the public on a search will be the landlord’s unique registration number when their name is entered into the search facility, confirmation on whether property is registered when an address is entered and the names and details of agents acting for the landlord. No other details will be visible to the public, such as the landlord’s address or contact number.

Fees

There is a fee for registration. The online registration fee is £70 and the paper/non-electronic based registration fee is £80. The landlord only has to pay one fee regardless of the number of properties they own. However, each owner of the property must register as a landlord and each pay the relevant fee.

As a landlord, if you have paid to register a house in multiple occupation which is registered under a Houses in Multiple Occupation Registration Scheme, you still have to register but you are exempt from the registration fee.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme Northern Ireland

The Landlord Registration Scheme comes after the introduction of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme in Northern Ireland on 1 April 2013 under The Tenancy Deposit Schemes Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012. This requires all landlords who take a deposit for a private tenancy on or after 1 April 2013 to register the deposit with an approved tenancy deposit scheme. Please see our article Tenancy Deposit Scheme Northern Ireland which is also available on our website.

Should you require any further information about the contents of this article, please do not hesitate to contact Patricia Cronin at:

Email: p.cronin@cfrlaw.co.uk
Telephone: 028 9024 3141