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Landlord and Tenant (Private Housing) Bill consultation extended 19 March 2013

The Department of Social Care (DSC) has extended the consultation on the Landlord and Tenant (Private Housing) Bill – new draft legislation being brought forward to ensure basic minimum standards in the Island’s private rented sector.

Minister of Social Care Hon Chris Robertshaw MHK said:

“My Department is committed to ensuring we provide the opportunity for all those who may be affected by this new legislation to express their views. Since launching the consultation a number of landlords have approached me and outlined their intention to set up a Landlords Association on the Island. This would be a positive development and I have decided to extend the consultation for an extra six weeks to ensure that if such a body was set up they have time to respond to the consultation.
This legislation is not about creating another layer of bureaucracy for landlords, it is about bringing together existing legislation and creating a set of minimum standards which landlords and their properties must meet. But it will give the Department the power to take action against the small minority of irresponsible landlords whose properties do not achieve standards of basic decency.”

The new legislation will:

  • Require landlords of rented dwellings, who are not exempt, to be registered;
  • Require landlords, and their rented dwellings to comply with minimum standards
  • Require landlords, who do not themselves meet the personal requirements set out in the minimum standards, to use a letting agent to manage their properties
  • Allow the Department of Social Care to enforce those minimum standards

The public consultation will run for an extra six weeks ending at 5pm on Friday 3 May 2013.

There are a number of ways to make sure your views are heard:

Alongside the consultation on the draft Bill the DSC has launched a voluntary Landlord Registration Scheme.

The Minister added:

“I would like to remind landlords that alongside the consultation on the draft Bill my Department launched a voluntary Landlord Registration Scheme. This gives landlords the opportunity to register for the Scheme voluntarily so that the process can be properly understood and tested. So far 46 properties have already been registered by landlords.”

The voluntary Scheme will provide landlords with the opportunity to become familiar with the process and minimum standards for registration, which will then become mandatory under the proposed legislation. It will also allow the Department to pilot the Scheme and receive feedback on the process.

More information and details on how to apply for the voluntary Landlord Registration Scheme can be found at: www.gov.im/socialcare/housing/vlrs.xml or by calling the Housing Division on 685187.

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