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Unanimous backing for Sinn Féin demand for mandatory registration of Landlords

1 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson, West Belfast MLA Fra McCann has welcomed unanimous cross-party support for the party's demand for the mandatory registration of private landlords during an Assembly debate today.

Mr McCann said:

"This sends out the strongest possible message that the Minister, Margaret Ritchie, cannot ignore the demand for the mandatory registration of private landlords.

"While there are many responsible landlords who would surely welcome mandatory registration that there are also unscrupulous landlords who charge extortionate rents, provide substandard and even dangerous accommodation and who prey on the vulnerable. For to long this sector has been unregulated and both statutory and voluntary registration has failed, leaving it to market forces to regulate the sector which has only made matters worse."

During the debate Fra McCann highlighted the abusive practices of landlords particularly in relation to students, single parents and migrant workers in Homes of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and the failure to deal with anti-social tenants.

Mr McCann concluded:

"Sinn Féin will make sure that the Minister now brings forward this legislation without delay because every day that she fails to respond to this cross-party demand is another day that someone is at the mercy of unscrupulous landlords." ENDS

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