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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Houses in multiple occupation

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

A shared property that is a HMO has to meet certain standards in order to get its HMO license.

If you share with other people, but the property isn’t regarded as a HMO your property just has to meet the basic fitness standard that applies to all rented housing.

A house in multiple occupation or HMO is a type of shared housing, which is subject to additional standards and requirements.

From 1 April 2019 all HMOs in Northern Ireland must be licenced. Local councils are responsible for the HMO licensing scheme.

You should make sure that your HMO does not become overcrowded. Overcrowding is a serious offence, and you can be issued with an overcrowding notice if the council believes your HMO is or is likely to become overcrowded. There are two different standards used to work out how many people can live in a HMO property.

If you're renting a property as part of a group, you need to pay close attention to the tenancy agreement. The wording on this agreement can control what happens if one of the group moves out. In some cases, the rest of the tenants can be made responsible for paying the extra rent as well as any rent that the former tenant hasn't paid.

As with all private tenants, you have certain responsibilities when you live in shared housing

From 1 April 2019 all HMOs in Northern Ireland must be licenced. Local councils are responsible for the HMO licensing scheme. There are several significant changes which will impact on landlords of HMO properties. 

The council can issue a suitability notice if it believes that the HMO is not suitable for the number or type of occupants.

Renting a home on your own is expensive. It might be more affordable to move in with friends, family members or even strangers. This will make things cheaper but can bring it's own problems so you need to think about the practical arrangements of living with others.

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. 

Sharing arrangements don't always work out. If you're having problems with the people you're sharing with, don't ignore the issue. Try to resolve the situation. If you've signed a tenancy agreement, it will be difficult to leave the property before it has lapsed.

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