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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

HMO management standards

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 5. 

The council will check if you have "satisfactory management arrangements" for your House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

What are satisfactory management arrangements?

The council will check

  • if any person involved in managing the HMO is competent to do so;
  • if the owner and person's involved in managing the property are fit and proper person;
  • whether the management and financial structures in place are appropriate.

They will check if you are on the NI Landlord Register.

Code of Practice for HMOs

There is a Code of Practice for the Management of HMOs. You and the property manager have to follow this code.

The code of practice covers different issues, including

  • standards for accommodation
  • procedures for electrical and gas safety testing and certification
  • fire safety requirements
  • cleaning requirements at the start of a tenancy
  • repairs to the property, its systems, fixtures and furnishings
  • collection and disposal of rubbish
  • provision of information to residents

Read the full code of practice on the Belfast City Council website.

Tenants' responsibilities under the code of practice

Tenants also have responsibilities under the code of practice for HMOs. Make sure you give your tenants a copy of this code and make sure they understand it.

Tenants must

  • Not prevent or obstruct the manager from carrying out their duties;
  • Allow the manager to access the property at reasonable times for reasonable purposes
  • Provide information to the HMO manager that they need to follow the code of practice
  • Avoid damaging the property, its systems, furniture and furnishings
  • Follow the manager's instructions for fire safety and disposal of rubbish
  • Avoid using portable gas appliances.

Give tenants a warning if they are not following the code of practice. Make sure they understand their responsibilities.

You may be able to take action to evict the tenant if they regularly break the code of practice.