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29 April, 2020 Open access

Bill to protect private renters during coronavirus outbreak passed by Northern Ireland Assembly

Private Tenancies (Coronavirus Modifications) Bill introduces requirement for landlords to give tenants 12 week notice to quit period

Legislation to protect private renters during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Following a debate in the Northern Ireland Assembly yesterday, the final stage of the Private Tenancies (Coronavirus Modifications) Bill - that introduces a requirement for landlords to give private sector tenants a 12 week notice to quit period - was approved by Members of the Legislative Assembly.

Welcoming the passage of the Bill, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said -

'Private renters continue to be a group facing significant concerns and anxiety during this period in particular due to loss of employment. In these extraordinary times people who may temporarily struggle to pay their rent through no fault of their own, need certainty in the meantime that their homes are safe and that their landlords can’t evict them.

This legislation will ensure that no renter in private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this difficult time. Landlords will now be required to give tenants 12 weeks’ notice to quit before seeking a court order to begin proceedings to evict.'

For more information, see Bill to protect private renters passed by Assembly from ni.gov.uk