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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Renters Voice for Private Tenants

About Renters Voice

Renters' Voice is a project for private renters in Northern Ireland who want to make renting better for everyone.  Our aims are to build a strong voice for private tenants in NI and a culture of tenant participation in development of the Private Rented Sector. 

We are supported by Housing Rights and funded by Nationwide Foundation but our voice is our own! 

Here are some highlights so far and a form that you can use to contact us and make your renter's voice heard!

 

DIY RENTERS’ MANIFESTO WORKSHOP:  Tuesday 22nd March, Sign up now!

We are holding this free Online Workshop on Tuesday 22nd March 2022, 7-9pm, as part of Imagine! festival of ideas.

If you’re a private renter, sign up now to:

  • Talk about tenants’ rights and opportunities to shape reform of private renting in NI.
  • Discuss common issues, suggest solutions and build solidarity.
  • Make your own DIY Renters’ Manifesto highlighting the issues that need to change!

After hearing from tenants involved in Renters’ Voice and discussing experiences of living in the private rented sector, participants will use a ‘DIY Renters’ Manifesto’ pack (sent by us in advance) to make a visual representation of their views and vision for change. No artistic talent or previous experience is necessary!

Register for the workshop. 

 

NOTICE TO QUIT CAMPAIGN:  Our biggest campaign so far is about private tenants in NI getting more security to stay in their homes

Outside of current Covid-19 arrangements, many private renters in NI can be asked to leave their homes in just 28 days without there needing to be a reason. 

We have been telling those in power that this needs to change and campaigning for an end to ‘no fault’ evictions, or at the very least 6 months’ notice for private tenants when they are asked to leave their homes.

Here is what 6 months would mean to us:

Without six months’ notice the reality is that it becomes a case of finding a house, any house, regardless of suitability. It means potential debt in raising the money necessary to fund the move.

Without six months’ notice I am faced with a scramble to find any accommodation, regardless of the condition, how unreasonable the contract terms or how unsuitable it is for my family.

We’re expanding this campaign to bring in more tenants’ views and voices. 

Follow us on:

SURVEY FINDINGS: What could help private renters with the impact of Covid-19 and what long-term changes are needed?

We conducted this survey in October 2020 and private tenants who responded told us:

  • Most people were concerned about their renting situation due to Covid-19, and just over half were either just as worried or more worried in October 2020 than they had been at the start of the pandemic. 
  • Peoples’ big ongoing concerns during the pandemic are about:
  • Being able to pay rent and other living expenses,
  • Uncertainty about what will happen with people’s renting situations
  • Getting repairs done, and
  • Difficulties moving home during the crisis.
  • A huge 9 out of 10 people said they had experienced one or more issues in their time as a private tenant and the top three issues people had experienced were:
  • Difficulties finding suitable properties to rent
  • Problems with repairs, and
  • Not always knowing what rights and responsibilities you have as a tenant

Read our full report, including the Top 10 changes that people would like to see

POLICY RESPONSES & EVIDENCE

As a group, we have given evidence on our experiences as private tenants and views on how law and policy should be improved to make things better for renters in NI.

We have

  • met with senior officials from the Department for Communities
  • given oral and written evidence to the NI Assembly’s Communities Committee
  • submitted formal responses to Consultations and Calls for Evidence.

Here are some of our formal documents if you’d like to read more:

Notice to Quit Consultation Response, Jan 2022 

& Appendix A, Stories from Private Renters 

Renters’ Voice Evidence on Private Tenancies Bill, Oct 2021 

Response to Housing Supply Strategy Call for Evidence, July 2021

& shorter response to Housing Supply Strategy Consultation, Feb 2022 

Have your renter's voice heard

Do you rent from a private landlord or letting agent?

Would you like to share your experience to improve things for private renters?

Renters’ Voice is a project for private renters in Northern Ireland who want to make renting better for everyone.

We have regular meetings (currently online) to:

  • Share our experiences of renting (good and bad)
  • Work together to come up with ways to make renting better
  • Have a voice that is heard by landlords, politicians and government.

You can get involved in our meetings, campaigning and training opportunities and build skills in areas such as research, communications and representing the project.

...Or you can keep in touch via our mailing list and add your voice through our surveys and events that we organise.

To find out more, fill in the form below or email rentersvoice@housingrights.org.uk.

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