Public Health & Housing

We aim to protect the environment and public health and improve the quality of life for the people of the Newtownabbey Borough.

 

What We Do
  • Investigate complaints regarding conditions which are prejudicial to public health or a nuisance for example, dampness, drainage, bad smells, defective heating appliances, dust and fumes and pest infestations (rats, mice, pigeons).
  • Carry out inspections in rented sector housing, including owner-occupied properties, properties controlled by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Housing Associations and privately rented properties to ensure houses are suitable for living in.
  • Respond to complaints regarding harassment & illegal eviction in the private sector.
  • Investigate complaints in relation to ruinous and dilapidated buildings.
  • Carry out programmed sampling of public and private supplies.
  • Sample public and private swimming pool waters.
  • Carry out sampling of larger private water supplies on behalf of the Drinking Water Inspectorate.
  • Provide advice in relation to fuel poverty.

 

Private Tenancies

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

A new tenancy deposit scheme for Northern Ireland became law on 1 April 2013. This scheme has been introduced by the Department for Social Development (DSD) under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme Regulations (NI) 2012. This means that after 1 April, any deposit for a private tenancy taken by a landlord or agent must be protected in an approved tenancy deposit scheme.


Any disputes about deposits received prior to 1st April 2013 are civil matters between Landlord and tenant and may require decision in small claims court.


The deposit must be secured in an approved scheme within 14 days and a tenant must be informed that their deposit has been secured within 28 days. There are, therefore, 2 offences:


  1. If the landlord does not protect the deposit, or comply with the requirements of the deposit scheme, they could face a fixed penalty fine (three times the value of the deposit) or be prosecuted in court, where they could be fined up to 20,000.
  2. The scheme also makes it illegal for a landlord or agent to take a deposit in any other form than money all deposits must be monetary. The fine for taking a deposit in.

Why is the scheme being introduced?


Benefits of the tenancy deposit scheme include:

  • Tenancy deposits will be protected by an independent third party - this will prevent deposit from being unfairly withheld by landlords or letting agents at the end of the tenancy.
  • Quick repayment of deposits - where a landlord and tenant agree about the return of the deposit, the deposit must be returned within 5 working days.
  • Free access to an independent dispute resolution service - every approved scheme will provide a free service to resolve disagreements over the return of deposits as an alternative to taking legal action through the courts.
  • Provision of information - Landlords must give the tenant key information about the tenancy, the deposit and the scheme that safeguards the deposit.
  • Sanctions for non compliance - a tenant can report a landlord to us if they fail to submit deposits to an approved scheme and/or provide information to the tenant within the specified time limits.
  • Improved professionalism of the private rented sector - the scheme will raise standards in managing deposits.

Types of schemes

The regulations set out two types of deposit scheme custodial and insurance.


Custodial scheme:

This is where the landlord protects the entire tenant's deposit in the scheme until it becomes due at the end of the tenancy.


Insurance scheme:


This is where the landlord can hold the deposit, on the condition they pay a fee and/or an insurance premium to the scheme to protect the deposit, until it becomes due at the end of the tenancy.


Who runs the scheme?

DSD has appointed four scheme administrators operate the schemes; each of these organisations provide both custodial and insurance schemes.


  1. My Deposits www.mydepositsni.co.uk
  2. The Dispute Service (TDS) http://www.tdsnorthernireland.com
  3. Letting Protection Service (LPS) www.computershare.com/uk or www.lettingprotectionni.com

Landlord Registration

Under the Landlord Registration Scheme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 all private landlords must provide accurate and up to date information about themselves and their properties to the Registrar.


Further information can be found on the DSD Website: http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/index/hsdiv-housing/private_rented_sector/landlord-registration.htm


Leaflet on Landlord Registration

http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/landlord_reg_info_leaflet.pdf


Landlord Registration Form

http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/landlord_registration_form.pdf




Links

www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/information-and-services/property-and-housing/buying-selling-and-renting-a-home/private-renting.htm

http://renting.housingadviceni.org/prs/advice-for-landlords/deposits.html



How to contact us:

Newtownabbey Borough Council

Mossley Mill

Newtownabbey

BT36 5QA

 

Telephone: 028 9034 0160

Fax: 028 9034 0177

Email: envhealth@newtownabbey.gov.uk

 

Related Websites:

Northern Ireland Housing Executive:

Download www.nihe.gov.uk

 

Department for Social Development:

Download www.dsdni.gov.uk/index/hsdiv-housing-link

 

Department for Regional Development:

Download www.dsdni.gov.uk

 

Eaga Partnership:

Download www.eaga.co.uk

 

Citizens Advice:

Download www.adviceguide.org.uk/nireland/

 

Advice NI:

Download www.adviceni.net

 

The Housing Rights Service:

Download www.housingrights.org.uk

 

Northern Ireland Water:

Download www.niwater.com

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For further details on this contact:

Environmental Health

Tel: 028 9034 0160

Email: envhealth@newtownabbey.gov.uk

© Newtownabbey Borough Council 2014