Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced that she is extending legislation to protect private renters from eviction to 4 May 2022.
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.
The legislation was due to expire on 30 September and after a review, the Minister has taken the decision that it should be extended further until 4 May 2022 to protect renters in the private rented sector.
Minister Hargey said: “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.
“As ever, I would encourage landlords and tenants to continue to work together during this period to avoid the need for commencing or pursuing possession proceedings in what remains a difficult time.”
This emergency legislation was introduced in response to the pandemic. More generally, the Minister has recently introduced a Private Tenancies Bill in to the Assembly. The Minister intends that this new Bill will deliver a number of protections for private renters including a permanent extension to the Notice to Quit period.