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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

HMO

The definition of a House in Multiple Occupation has changed. Some properties which were previously classed as HMOs will no longer fall under the definition. 

Under the new HMO regime, HMO owners and managers must deal with anti-social behaviour much more proactively. You must have a policy or plan to deal with any anti-social behaviour caused by or affecting the people living in your HMO.

Your tenants can ask the council to inspect the HMO if they are concerned about conditions. If the council finds a hazard, you may be served with a hazard notice. You can be issued with a fixed penalty notice for £5,000 if you let the HMO be used when it is subject to a hazard notice.

The council has a number of enforcement tools available to deal with problems in HMOs. As well as a system of fixed penalty notices, the council can serve certain statutory notices on a HMO owner or manager. 

Renting a room in a shared house used to be something associated with students or young people. But, this type of renting arrangement is becoming much more common, and many people live in shared housing well past their student years.

A house in multiple occupation, or HMO, is a particular type of rented housing, but not all shared housing will be a HMO. It's important to know if the home you are renting should be classed as a HMO. If it is, it must be licensed and meet extra safety standards.

Get advice if you are worried about problems in shared housing. If your property is a HMO, the council’s HMO unit may be able to help you.

If your shared property is a HMO and you are worried about conditions in the property, you can ask the council’s HMO team to check for hazards.

When a landlord applies for a licence for a HMO, the property is approved for a maximum number of persons. If there are more people living in the property than the license allows, the landlord has committed an offence.

 

Dealing with anti-social behaviour in any type of property can be difficult. Shared properties that are HMOs have extra requirements relating to managing this type of behaviour. The HMO manager must have a policy or plan to deal with any anti-social behaviour caused by or affecting the people living in the HMO.

Sharing arrangements don't always work out. If you're having problems with your flatmates, don't ignore the issue. Try to resolve the situation.

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