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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Your responsibilities when you live in shared housing

As with all private tenants, you have certain responsibilities when you live in shared housing. You must:

  • Pay your rent on time and in the manner set out in your tenancy agreement;
  • Look after the property and items provided by the landlord;
  • Leave the property when your tenancy has ended or if a possession order has been granted.

Your tenancy agreement may include extra responsibilities.

Additional responsibilities if you live in a HMO

If your shared home is a HMO, you have certain extra responsibilities and it’s important to be aware of these. A Code of Practice applies to HMOs. While most of the code of practice relates to the owner and HMO manager, some of it places responsibilities on the people living in the HMO. If you live in a HMO you have a responsibility to;

  • Make sure you don’t prevent or obstruct the manager from carrying out their duties;
  • Allow the HMO manager to access the property at all reasonable times if they are doing something required by the code of practice;
  • Give the manager any information that they may reasonably need in order to carry out something required by the code of practice;
  • Avoid causing damage to anything supplied, maintained or repaired by the manager under the code of practice;
  • Store and dispose of litter and rubbish as per the manager’s arrangements;
  • Follow the manager’s instructions relating to the use of fire equipment or escape from fire;
  • Avoid using portable gas appliances.

The council is responsible for looking after HMOs. This means that they sometimes need information from the people living in a HMO in order to carry out their jobs properly. It could be an offence to refuse to do something the council has asked you to do, and refusing could mean you have to pay a fixed penalty or that you could be prosecuted.

Get advice if you are concerned about something the council has asked you to do.