When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Appealing decisions about HMOs

Advice for landlords in Northern Ireland

This page is for landlords operating in Northern Ireland.  You can find advice for tenants elsewhere on our website. Private landlords in Northern Ireland can call Landlord Advice on 028 9024 5640 and choose option 1. 

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.