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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Losing your HMO licence

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 choosing option 5. Lines open Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 2.30pm.

In certain circumstances, the council can revoke your HMO licence.

Reasons for revoking a licence

The council can only revoke your licence if it is satisfied that

  • you are not a fit and proper person
  • an agent involved in managing the household, (even if not named on the licence), is not a fit and proper person
  • the management arrangements for the HMO are not satisfactory
  • the HMO is not fit for habitation
  • the HMO has failed to meet the required standards and is not suitable for occupation by any number of persons and can’t be made so by the imposition of licence conditions
  • a serious breach of the licence conditions has been committed by you or the HMO manager
  • there has been more than one breach of the licence conditions

Process for revoking a licence

If the council intends to either vary or revoke your HMO licence, it must serve a notice to that effect on you and on the relevant statutory authorities.

This notice must explain why the council proposes to revoke or vary the notice and specify a date by which you can submit written representations in your defence.

The council can hold a hearing about the matter, and must notify you and any other appropriate persons of the date, time and place of this hearing. You must receive at least 7 days’ notice of any hearing.

Any evidence you provide, either in writing or at an oral hearing, must be considered by the council when making a decision about revoking your licence.

Notifying the council’s decision

The council must notify you and any relevant statutory authorities of its decision. This notice has to include

  • the council’s decision
  • a copy of the new licence, if the decision was to vary the licence
  • the date on which the decision was made.

The decision takes effect on

  • the day your right to appeal ends, if you chose not to appeal; or
  • the day on which a decision is made in your appeal, if the appeal court upholds the council’s decision.

Appealing a decision to revoke your licence

You can appeal the council’s decision to revoke your licence by applying to the County Court.