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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Houses in multiple occupation

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 its own problems so you need to think about the practical arrangements of living with others.

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.

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.

From 1 April 2019 all HMOs in Northern Ireland must be licenced. Any HMO that is currently registered will have this registration automatically converted to a licence. You should take note of when your existing registration is due for renewal so you can apply for a licence in advance of this date.

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

Locuințe cu Ocupație Multiplă – (HMO) sunt locuințe partajate între chiriași care nu sunt membrii aceleiași familii. Există reguli speciale pentru locuința dvs. dacă locuiți într-o casă cu mai mulți ocupanți (HMO).

 

To ensure proper management of HMOs and the safety of HMO occupants, councils can only issue a licence where they are satisfied that the owner, and any managing agent, is a fit and proper person.

If you paid your deposit on or after 1 April 2013, your landlord must protect it in an approved tenancy deposit scheme. These schemes work a little differently for joint tenants. Even though you might have paid your portion of the deposit directly to the agent or landlord, the landlord will protect the full deposit for the tenancy as one payment. This normally means that only one tenant, the lead tenant, will have the power to start the dispute process if you disagree with how the landlord has returned the deposit at the end of the tenancy.

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.

Certain decisions about HMOs can be appealed at County Court. There are strict time-frames for requesting an appeal and you will need a solicitor to carry out this work for you.

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