Certain decisions about HMOs can be appealed at County Court. There are strict time-frames for requesting an appeal and you will need a solicitor to carry out this work for you.
What decisions can be appealed?
There is a full list of appealable decisions in Section 67 of the Houses in Multiple Occupation (NI) Act 2016. The main decisions which you may want to appeal are:
- refusing an application for a HMO licence, (although there is no right of appeal if the refusal is solely because granting the licence would breach planning control)
- refusing an application to renew a HMO licence
- issuing a suitability notice
- issuing an overcrowding notice
- issuing a hazard notice
- refusing an application to vary a suitability, overcrowding or hazard notice
It’s important to note that someone else can also appeal the council’s decision. Someone not involved with your property may object to the granting of a HMO licence, and can appeal the council’s decision to issue your licence.
Understanding the council’s decision-making process
It’s important to know why the council arrived at its decision. If your notice does not contain a statement of reasons, you have a right to request this from the council.
You can request a statement of reasons explaining the council’s decision within 7 days of receiving the notice you wish to appeal.
The council should issue the statement of reasons within 14 days of receiving your request.
What is the time-frame for appealing?
You will normally have to request your appeal within 28 days of receiving the council’s decision.
If the 28 days have passed before you’ve received a requested statement of reasons from the council, the time frame is extended slightly. But, you must request the appeal within 7 days of receiving the council’s statement.