Notice periods to be further extended in Northern Ireland

The Department for Communities has announced an extension to the regulations for the period of notice a landlord must give a tenant before a claim is made to the court.

Introduced at the start of the pandemic the Private Tenancies (Coronavirus Modifications) Act requires landlords to give tenants a 12-week notice to quit period before seeking a court order to begin proceedings to evict, and Deirdre Hargey, Communities Minister confirmed they will be extended to 4 May 2022.

Agents and landlords evictions information

The 12-week notice period in relation to all tenancies, which had been due to return to their pre-COVID position after 30 September remains in place. The position for notice periods where the ground for giving notice relates to anti-social behaviour or domestic violence also remains the same, as they have reverted to the pre-COVID position.

It is still highly recommended that agents, landlords, and tenants continue to work together during this period to avoid the need for commencing or pursuing possession proceedings.

Private Tenancies Bill

The Department has also recently introduced a Private Tenancies Bill into the Assembly and intends that the new Bill will deliver a number of protections for private renters including a permanent extension to the Notice to Quit period.

Propertymark is in regular contact with the Department and will confirm further details to members when they are available.

I have considered very carefully the balance between landlords’ interests as property owners and the protection of those in need during this pandemic to ensure people are not facing eviction in this challenging time.

Whilst it is clear that the overall situation is greatly improved from the beginning of the pandemic, there is still some way to go.  I’m mindful of the economic disruption which may emerge as other protections unwind.

Deidre Hargey Communities Minister | Department of Communities
With very few local council areas suppressing the coronavirus and cases continuing to climb, it has come as no surprise the Executive intend to further the measures to protect tenants. 
However, it is not clear on what evidence the decision to extend the temporary legislation is based on, what the scale of the issues are, if any, and whether the extended notice periods are resolving problems.
To maintain confidence between landlords and tenants, the Executive must frequently outline the requirements to continue with the extended notice periods and look to review the temporary regulations on a regular period. 
Daryl McIntosh Policy Manager | Propertymark