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The Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1983

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Terms of a secure tenancyN.I.

Subletting and lodgersN.I.

30.—(1) It is by virtue of this Article a term of every secure tenancy that the tenant may allow any persons to reside as lodgers in the dwelling-house.

(2) It is by virtue of this Article a term of every secure tenancy that the tenancy will not, without the written consent of the landlord, sublet or part with the possession of part of the dwelling-house.

(3) The consent required by virtue of this Article is not to be unreasonably withheld and, if unreasonably withheld, shall be treated as given.

(4) An application for the landlord's consent required by virtue of paragraph (2) shall be in writing.

Provisions as to consents required by Article 30N.I.

31.—(1) If any question arises whether the withholding of a consent was unreasonable it is for the landlord to show that it was not; and in determining that question the following matters, if shown by the landlord, are among those to be taken into account, namely—

(a)that the consent would lead to overcrowding of the dwelling-house; and

(b)that the landlord proposes to carry out works on the dwelling-house or on the building of which it forms part and that the proposed works will affect the accommodation likely to be used by the sub-tenant who would reside in the dwelling-house as a result of the consent.

(2) A consent may be validly given notwithstanding that it follows, rather than precedes, the action requiring it.

(3) A consent cannot be given subject to a condition, and if purporting to be given subject to a condition shall be treated as given unconditionally.

(4) Where the tenant has applied for a consent then—

(a)if the landlord refuses to give the consent it shall give to the tenant a written statement of the reasons why the consent was refused; and

(b)if the landlord neither gives nor refuses to give the consent within a reasonable time the consent shall be taken to have been withheld.

(5) In this Article a “consent” means a consent which is required by virtue of Article 30.

AssigmentsN.I.

32.—(1) A secure tenancy, or a tenancy to which paragraph (2) applies, shall not be capable of being assigned unless—

(a)the assignment is made in pursuance of an order made under Article 26 of the Matrimonial Causes (Northern Ireland) Order 1978; or

[F1(aa)the assignment is made in pursuance of an order made under Part 2 of Schedule 15, or paragraph 9(2) or (3) of Schedule 17, to the Civil Partnership Act 2004; or]

(b)the assignment is to a person in whom the tenancy would or might have been vested by virtue of Article 26 had the tenant died immediately before the assignment[F2 or]

[F2(c)the assignment is made in pursuance of Article 32A.]

(2) This paragraph applies to any tenancy which would be a secure tenancy if the condition described in Article 25(3) as the tenant condition were satisfied.

[F3Assignments by way of exchangeN.I.

32A.(1) It is by virtue of this Article a term of every secure tenancy that the tenant may, with the written consent of the landlord, assign the tenancy to a person to whom this paragraph applies; and this paragraph applies to any person who is the tenant under a secure tenancy and has the written consent of the landlord to assign the tenancy either to the first mentioned tenant or to another person to whom this paragraph applies.

(2) The consent required by virtue of this Article is not to be withheld except on one or more of the grounds set out in Schedule 3A and, if withheld otherwise than on one of those grounds, shall be treated as given.

(3) The landlord shall not be entitled to rely on any of the grounds set out in Schedule 3A unless, within 42 days of the tenant's application for the consent, the landlord has served on the tenant a notice specifying that ground and giving particulars of it.

(4) Where any rent lawfully due from the tenant has not been paid or any obligation of the tenancy has been broken or not performed, the consent required by virtue of this Article may be given subject to a condition requiring the tenant to pay the outstanding rent, remedy the breach or perform the obligation.

(5) Except as provided by paragraph (4), a consent required by this Article cannot be given subject to a condition, and any condition imposed otherwise than as so provided shall be disregarded.]

Other disposalsN.I.

33.—(1) If the tenant under a secure tenancy parts with the possession of the dwelling-house or sublets the whole of it (or sublets part and then the remainder) the tenancy ceases to be a secure tenancy.

(2) Where, on the death of the tenant, a secure tenancy is vested or otherwise disposed of in the course of the administration of his estate, the tenancy ceases to be a secure tenancy unless—

(a)the vesting or other disposal is in pursuance of an order made under Article 26 of the Matrimonial Causes (Northern Ireland) Order 1978; or

[F4(aa)the vesting or other disposal is in pursuance of an order made under Part 2 of Schedule 15, or paragraph 9(2) or (3) of Schedule 17, to the Civil Partnership Act 2004; or]

(b)the vesting or other disposal is to a person in whom the tenancy would or might have vested by virtue of Article 26.

(3) Where—

(a)a tenancy ceases to be a secure tenancy by virtue of this Article; or

(b)in the case of a tenancy which would be a secure tenancy if the condition described in Article 25(3) as the tenant condition were satisfied, the tenant parts with the possession of the dwelling-house or sublets the whole of it (or sublets first part of it and then the remainder),

the tenancy cannot become a secure tenancy.

Tenant's improvementsN.I.

34.—(1) It is by virtue of this Article a term of every secure tenancy that the tenant will not make any improvement without the written consent of the landlord.

(2) An application for the consent required by virtue of paragraph (1) shall be in writing and such consent—

(a)is not to be unreasonably withheld; and

(b)if unreasonably withheld, shall be treated as given.

(3) In this Chapter “improvement” means any alteration in, or addition to, a dwelling-house and includes—

(a)any addition to, or alteration in, landlord's fixtures and fittings and any addition or alteration connected with the provision of any services to a dwelling-house; and

(b)the carrying out of external decoration.

(4) If any question arises whether the withholding of a consent required by virtue of paragraph (1) was unreasonable it is for the landlord to show that it was not; and in determining that question the court shall, in particular, have regard to the extent to which the improvement would be likely—

(a)to make the dwelling-house, or any other premises, less safe for occupiers;

(b)to cause the landlord to incur expenditure which it would be unlikely to incur if the improvement were not made; or

(c)to reduce the price which the dwelling-house would fetch if sold on the open market or the rent which the landlord would be able to charge on letting the dwelling-house.

(5) A consent required by virtue of paragraph (1) may be validly given notwithstanding that it follows, rather than precedes, the action requiring it and may be given subject to a condition.

(6) Where the tenant has applied for a consent which is required by paragraph (1) then—

(a)if the landlord refuses to give the consent it shall give to the tenant a written statement of the reasons why the consent was refused; and

(b)if the landlord neither gives nor refuses to give the consent within a reasonable time, the consent shall be taken to have been withheld, and if the landlord gives the consent but subject to an unreasonable condition, the consent shall be taken to have been unreasonably withheld.

(7) If any question arises whether a condition attached to a consent was reasonable, it is for the landlord to show that it was.

(8) Any failure by the tenant to satisfy any reasonable condition imposed by the landlord in giving consent to an improvement which the tenant proposes to make, or has made, shall be treated for the purposes of this Chapter as a breach by the tenant of an obligation of his tenancy.

[F5Right to compensation for improvementsN.I.

34A.(1) The duty imposed by this Article shall apply in relation to cases where a secure tenant whose landlord is the Executive has made an improvement and—

(a)the Executive has given its written consent to the improvement or is treated as having given its consent; and

(b)the work on the improvement was begun not earlier than the date of the coming into operation of Article 132 of the Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 2003; and

(c)at the time when the tenancy comes to an end the landlord is the Executive and the tenancy is a secure tenancy.

(2) The Executive shall prepare and submit to the Department a scheme for entitling a secure tenant whose landlord is the Executive—

(a)at the time when the tenancy comes to an end; and

(b)subject to and in accordance with the scheme,

to be paid compensation by the Executive in respect of the improvement.

(3) A scheme submitted under paragraph (2) may contain such provision as the Executive thinks appropriate and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, shall include provision with respect to—

(a)the types of improvement to which the scheme applies;

(b)the manner in which and the period within which claims for compensation under the scheme are to be made, and the procedure to be followed in determining such claims;

(c)the conditions under which compensation shall not be payable;

(d)the method by which sums of compensation payable under the scheme are to be calculated;

(e)the minimum and maximum amounts of compensation payable in respect of any claim for compensation; and

(f)the circumstances in which the Executive may set off against any compensation payable under the scheme any sums owed to it by the tenant to whom compensation is payable.

(4) The Department may approve a scheme submitted under paragraph (2) with or without modifications.

(5) The Executive shall comply with a scheme approved by the Department under paragraph (4).

(6) The Executive may at any time, and if the Department so directs shall, submit to the Department proposals amending a scheme approved under paragraph (4) or a scheme replacing any such scheme; and paragraphs (4) and (5) shall have effect in relation to those proposals or a scheme replacing an existing scheme as they have effect in relation to a scheme.

(7) For the purposes of this Article a tenancy shall be treated as coming to an end if—

(a)it ceases to be a secure tenancy by reason of the landlord condition no longer being satisfied, or

(b)it is assigned, with the consent of the landlord, to a person to whom Article 32A(1) applies.]

Reimbursement of costs of tenant's improvementsN.I.

35.—(1) This Article applies where a secure tenant has made an improvement and—

(a)the landlord, or a predecessor in title of the landlord, has given its written consent to the improvement or is treated as having given its consent; and

(b)work on the improvement was begun not earlier than the date of coming into operation of this Order; and

(c)the improvement has materially added to the price which the dwelling-house may be expected to fetch if sold on the open market or the rent which the landlord may be expected to be able to charge on letting the dwelling-house.

(2) Where this Article applies, the landlord[F6 may] (in addition to any other power[F6 or duty] to make such payments) make, at or after the end of the tenancy, such payment to the tenant (or his personal representatives) in respect of the improvement as the landlord considers to be appropriate.

(3) The amount of any payment under paragraph (2) in respect of an improvement must not exceed the cost, or likely cost, of the improvement after deducting the amount of any grant in respect of that improvement under Part III.

Rent not to be increased on account of tenant's improvementsN.I.

36.—(1) Where a person who is or was the secure tenant of a dwelling-house has lawfully made an improvement and has borne or would, but for a grant under Part III, have borne, the whole or part of its cost, then in determining—

(a)at any time whilst he is a secure tenant of that dwelling-house; or

(b)if he has died and on his death the tenancy vested in a person qualified to succeed him under Article 26, at any time whilst that person or his spouse is a secure tenant of the dwelling-house;[F7 or]

[F7(c)if he has assigned the tenancy and the assignment was made as mentioned in sub‐paragraph (a) or (b) of Article 32(1), at any time whilst the assignee is a secure tenant of that dwelling‐house; or

[F8(d)if the tenancy has been transferred to a spouse, former spouse,[F9 civil partner, former civil partner,] cohabitee or former cohabitee of his by an order made under Schedule 1 to the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 or Schedule 2 to the Family Homes and Domestic Violence (Northern Ireland) Order 1998, at any time whilst the transferee is a secure tenant of that dwelling‐house;]]

whether or to what extent to increase the rent, the landlord shall treat the improvement as justifying only such part of any increase which would otherwise be attributable to the improvement as corresponds to the part of the cost which neither has nor would have been so borne (and accordingly as not justifying an increase if the whole of the cost has or would have been so borne).

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to any increase attributable to rates.

Variation of terms of secure tenancyN.I.

37.—(1) The terms of a secure tenancy may be varied in accordance with the provisions of this Article but not otherwise.

(2) This Article does not apply to any term of a tenancy which is implied by any statutory provision (including this Order).

(3) The variation may be effected—

(a)by agreement between the landlord and the tenant;

(b)to the extent only that it relates to rent or to payments in respect of rates or services, by the landlord or the tenant in accordance with any provision in the lease or agreement creating the tenancy or in any agreement varying it; or

(c)by the landlord by a notice of variation served on the tenant.

(4) A notice of variation must specify the variation effected by it and the date on which it takes effect; and the period between the date on which it is served and the date on which it takes effect must not be shorter than four weeks.

(5) Before serving a notice of variation on the tenant the landlord shall—

(a)serve on him a preliminary notice informing him of the landlord's intention to serve a notice of variation, specifying the variation proposed to be effected and its effect and inviting him to comment on the proposed variation within such time, to be specified in the notice, as the landlord considers reasonable; and

(b)consider any comment made by the tenant within the time specified in the preliminary notice;

and when the notice of variation is served it must be accompanied by such information as the landlord considers necessary to inform the tenant of the nature and effect of the variation.

(6) Paragraph (5) does not apply to a variation—

(a)of the rent or of payments in respect of services or facilities provided by the landlord; or

(b)of payments in respect of rates.

(7) Where a notice of variation is served on the tenant and the tenant, before the date specified in it, gives a valid notice to quit under Article 27(3), the notice of variation does not take effect unless the tenant, with the written agreement of the landlord, withdraws his notice to quit before that date.

(8) References in this Article to variation include addition and deletion; and for the purposes of this Article the conversion of a monthly or fortnightly tenancy into a weekly, or a weekly into a monthly or fortnightly tenancy is a variation of a term of the tenancy, but a variation of the premises let under a tenancy is not.

Provision of information about tenanciesN.I.

38.—(1) The landlord shall, within two years of the coming into operation of this Order and thereafter from time to time, publish information about its secure tenancies in such form as it considers best suited to explain in simple terms and so far as it considers appropriate, the effect of—

(a)the express terms of its secure tenancies;

(b)the provisions of this Part in so far as they apply.

(2) The landlord shall ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the information published under paragraph (1) is kept up to date.

(3) The landlord under a secure tenancy shall supply the tenant—

(a)with a copy of the information for secure tenants published by it under paragraph (1); and

(b)with a written statement of the terms of the tenancy, so far as they are neither expressed in the lease or written tenancy agreement, if any, nor implied by law.

(4) The statement required by paragraph (3)(b) shall be supplied—

[F10when the tenancy arises or as soon as practicable afterwards]

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