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Upcoming changes to legal responsibilities for landlords

Background

Landlord Advice received a call from Judith who had recently heard about new legislation on the private rented sector in Northern Ireland. She wanted to know how this might affect her responsibilities in terms of electrical safety. She wanted to know if she needed to take immediate action or make changes to her tenancy agreements.

How Landlord Advice helped

We explained to Judith that a new law, the Private Tenancies Act, came into effect on 5 May 2022. The law proposes changes to legal requirements for landlords including:

  • safety standards
  • energy efficiency
  • rent increases
  • deposits amounts

While this legislation will introduce big changes in the private rented sector, the majority of these changes won’t come into place until further regulations are issued. Our adviser explained that the only immediate change is the length of notice needed to end a tenancy.

We advised Judith that, until further regulations take effect, landlords should follow best practice on electrical and fire safety. This includes ensuring all equipment meets minimum safety standards and testing electrical installations and appliances every five years. Landlords of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) need a certificate to show these checks have been completed.

Landlords should check that electrical equipment is in good working order at inspections and always before new tenants move in.


Private Tenancies Act information sessions are open to private landlords and estate agents.