HC Deb 09 March 1981 vol 1000 cc234-5W
Mr. Mates

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he proposes to take to arrest the deterioration in the condition of rented houses in Northern Ireland.

Mr. David Mitchell

I am particularly anxious to arrest the decline in the condition of many houses in the private rented sector and to take positive steps to bring about an improvement. Accordingly, I am publishing the results of the review of private sector housing instituted by my predecessor and placing copies in the Library of the House of Commons. Among its recommendations are proposals to bring about an upgrading of the condition of many"restricted" tenancies.

In addition, I have decided to increase private sector regulated tenancy rents as provided by the Rent (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 broadly in line with the increase recently announced for Housing Executive dwellings, and this will amount to 37½ per cent., coming into effect on 4 May 1981.

I also propose to increase the eligible expenses limits for improvement, intermediate and repairs grants available for the renovation of privately owned houses as from 1 May 1981.

I anticipate that this package of proposals will make a significant contribution to arresting the deterioration in the condition of rented housing in Northern Ireland.