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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Houses in multiple occupation

Your house needs to be up to certain standards before it can be rented out. You may need to ask the council to inspect your property and will have to abide by certain safety requirements.

Your house needs to be up to certain standards before it can be rented out. You may need to ask the council to inspect your property and will have to abide by certain safety requirements.

A shared property that is a HMO has to meet certain standards in order to get its HMO license.

If you share with other people, but the property isn’t regarded as a HMO your property just has to meet the basic fitness standard that applies to all rented housing.

The council has a number of enforcement tools available to deal with problems in HMOs. As well as a system of fixed penalty notices, the council can serve certain statutory notices on a HMO owner or manager. 

As with all private tenants, you have certain responsibilities when you live in shared housing

Your tenants can ask the council to inspect the HMO if they are concerned about conditions. If the council finds a hazard, you may be served with a hazard notice. You can be issued with a fixed penalty notice for £5,000 if you let the HMO be used when it is subject to a hazard notice.

People have a variety of reasons for renting shared accommodation. You may not be able to afford a home of your own, due to benefit restrictions or general affordability issues or you may not want to live alone.

Get advice if you are worried about problems in shared housing. If your property is a HMO, the council’s HMO unit may be able to help you.

You should make sure that your HMO does not become overcrowded. Overcrowding is a serious offence, and you can be issued with an overcrowding notice if the council believes your HMO is or is likely to become overcrowded. There are two different standards used to work out how many people can live in a HMO property.

There are a number of places you can find advertisements for rooms in shared properties. It’s very difficult to get out of a tenancy agreement once you’ve signed a contract so you should make sure that you’re happy with the accommodation and your flatmates before you sign.

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