Northern Ireland Regional Meetings

Jamie McDonald

Representative: Mr Jamie MacDonald
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  • Belfast - Tuesday 29th October 2019 11:00 - 15:00
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Jamie MacDonald

October 2019

With no Government in place at Stormont for over two and a half years, it would be tempting to hang a ‘gone to lunch’ sign up here and leave it at that, but thankfully at grassroots level the rental market continues to move along at a healthy pace. That, in fact, might be the point; when a market is left alone without much poking and prodding from Government, it tends to find its own level organically.

In Northern Ireland, the private rented sector, underpinned by only one significant piece of legislation since the The Rent (NI) Order 1978 (the Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2006) and a handful of basic legislative updates such as deposit protection and landlord registration, has grown from 11.5 per cent of total housing stock in 2006 to nearly 20 per cent at the last count.

What effects Brexit will have in Northern Ireland is anybody’s guess, but what would be the wisest course for the local Government, if and when it gets back up and running, would be to let the market absorb the ripples (or waves) of post-Brexit effects on the housing market. That’s not to say we don’t need to keep re-evaluating if our legislation protects both tenants and landlords; a recent House of Commons briefing paper comparing housing policy across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland found that NI is lagging behind in several key policy areas. That lag has its benefits; there are opportunities to learn about what works and what doesn’t following a national roll-out of new legislation.

However, trying to bring about significant legislative changes in the midst of market uncertainty would be folly; the effects of this are already being seen in England following the introduction of the Tenant Fee Ban in June this year.

Jamie MacDonald MARLA
ARLA Propertymark Regional Representative

South West

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