All private landlords should be aware of the new Landlord Registration Scheme which came into force in Northern Ireland on 25th February 2014.
From 25th February 2014 every private landlord in Northern Ireland must register with the Landlord Registration Scheme and provide information. Letting and management agents can register on a landlord’s behalf but it is ultimately the responsibility of landlords, not agents, to ensure that they are registered.
If a landlord fails to register, or provides false information for registration, he or she can be issued with a fixed penalty of up to £500 or, on summary conviction, can be fined up to £2,500. Local councils will enforce the scheme.
Aims of the Landlord Registration Scheme
The landlord registration scheme has a number of aims. These are to:
- Provide a centrally held register of private landlords with up-to-date and accurate information
- Allow tenants, neighbours and local councils to identify landlords and management agents of private rented property
- Provide information on the scale and distribution of the private rented sector in Northern Ireland
- Provide landlords with up-to-date information on any relevant legislation which would affect their rights and duties.
What public information is available through the registration website?
Unfortunately only limited information will be available to members of the public through the website. Details will be made available if you have details of the landlord’s name. On entering a landlord’s name a member of the public will be able to find out whether they are registered or not.
How can landlords or agents register?
Registration can be completed:
- By contributing details to the website
- By calling the contact centre where an agent will register the details; or
- By downloading a registration form or collecting a form from a local post office/ jobs and benefits office or calling the contact centre who will post out a form.
The registration process will cost £70 for online users and £80 for manual or paper based users. There is no further fee should landlords require to make changes to their details after initial registration.
The information required includes:
- The landlord’s full name;
- The landlord’s address, email address, and telephone number (including mobile number);
- The name, address and contact number of any agent acting for the landlord.
For each property the following information is required:
- The address (including the postcode);
- The date the property was built;
- The name and contact details of all joint owners;
- The correspondence address for the landlord (which must be in Northern Ireland) if different from above;
- The landlord’s date of birth.
Where the landlord is registered under the House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Registration Scheme, no registration payment will be required but the following information is needed:
- The HMO registrations certificate number;
- The address of each House in Multiple Occupation;
- The company registration number, if the landlord is constituted as a company.
In addition landlords will be asked to provide some information on a voluntarily basis. This may include:
- The number of reception rooms and bedrooms;
- The type of heating;
- Details of any window glazing/doors type;
- Details on energy performance, and;
- Whether the landlord would consider longer term / more secure leasing arrangements.
When must landlords register?
Where there is an existing tenancy you must register within 12 months of the commencement of these Regulations. For all future lettings, registration must occur prior to the commencement of that letting.
Registration will last for a period of 3 years at the end of which landlords must re-register.