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  4. Private Rented Sector in Northern Ireland – Proposals for change

Private Rented Sector in Northern Ireland – Proposals for change

Last updated: 16 Jan 2017

Consulting body:
Department for Communities in Northern Ireland
Period of consultation:
Runs from 10 January 2017 to 3 April 2017
CML action:
Response submitted

The Department for Communities, Northern Ireland, has been reviewing the role and regulation of the private rented sector. They have published a consultation which contains recommendations for enhancing and improving the sector.

The aim of the review is to consider the current and potential future role of the sector and assess the effectiveness of current regulation, identifying where improvements can be made to help make the private rented sector a more attractive housing option.

The consultation stresses the importance of protecting tenants while ensuring good landlords aren’t burdened with unnecessary or cumbersome regulation. 

The consultation document sets out proposals on:

  • Supply
  • Affordability
  • Security of Tenure
  • Tenancy Management
  • Property Standards
  • Dispute Resolution

CML response

The CML is concerned by paragraph 7.32, which states that “Northern Ireland has fallen behind other jurisdictions in relation to regulation…” This language implies that that there is a regulatory ‘arms race’, with jurisdictions keen to be seen as ‘keeping up with’ or ‘ahead of’ other jurisdictions.

This could lead to a ratchet effect, as each administration seeks to maintain parity with, or advantage over, regulation elsewhere.

In fact, differing levels of regulation in different jurisdictions not only reflect different local conditions but also provide an opportunity to learn from successes and failures elsewhere.

Our full response, available to download below, concentrates on those issues that may have a bearing on lenders and their customers.