Looking for information about a council service?
The Environmental Protection team are responsible for regulating the standards applicable to privately rented accommodation and carry out inspections to ensure dwellings are suitable for living in. Landlords creating certain types of new tenancies after 30th April 2007 must complete the required application form and submit the required fee (£50). An officer will then arrange to have an inspection of the property carried out.
The Landlord Registration Scheme Regulations (NI) 2014 came into operation on 25th February 2014. Landlords must register immediately prior to the letting of a new tenancy, or where there is an existing tenancy, within 12 months from the date of commencement. On registration, a landlord must disclose their entire portfolio of privately rented properties, not just the new tenancy. Online registration will cost £70 and paper registration £80.
The scheme will be administered by NI Direct. Registration lasts for a period of three years at the end of which landlords are required to re-register. Re-registration costs the same as first registration.
If a landlord fails to register, provides false information or lets a dwelling house without being a registered landlord the offences can be dealt with by way of a fixed penalty of £500 or up to £2,500 on conviction.
Additional information is available on the NI Direct website www.nidirect.gov.uk
Tenancy Deposit Scheme NI
A tenancy deposit scheme for Northern Ireland became law on 1 April 2013 under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme Regulations (NI) 2012. This means that after 1 April 2013, any deposit for a private tenancy taken by a landlord or agent must be protected in an approved tenancy deposit scheme. The deposit must be secured in an approved scheme within 14 days and a tenant must be informed that their deposit has been secured within 28 days.
There are 2 offences to be aware of:
1. If the landlord does not protect the deposit, or comply with the requirements of the deposit scheme, they could face a fine (up to three times the value of the deposit) or be prosecuted in court, where they could be fined up to £20,000.
2. The scheme also makes it illegal for a landlord or agent to take a deposit in any other form than money – all deposits must be monetary.
The Environmental Health Department enforces the 2 offences of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme for all private rentals and may issue fines in accordance with the above offences. Please contact 028 71381311 for further information.
Types of Schemes
There are two types of deposit scheme – custodial and insurance.
This is where the landlord protects the entire tenant’s deposit in the scheme until it becomes due at the end of the tenancy.
This is where the landlord can hold the deposit, on the condition they pay a fee and/or an insurance premium to the scheme to protect the deposit, until it becomes due at the end of the tenancy.
Who runs the scheme?
The Department for Social Development (DSD) has appointed three scheme administrators to operate the schemes; each of these organisations provide both custodial and insurance schemes except for LPSNI who offer a custodial scheme only.
1. My Deposits www.mydepositsni.co.uk/
2. The Dispute Service NI (TDSNI) www.tdsnorthernireland.com/
3. Letting Protection Service NI (LPSNI) www.lettingprotectionni.com/
Further information can be found on the following websites: