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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Houses in multiple occupation

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

There are a number of places you can find advertisements for rooms in shared properties. It’s very difficult to get out of a tenancy agreement once you’ve signed a contract so you should make sure that you’re happy with the accommodation and your flatmates before you sign.

All HMO properties must be licensed. Before a licence is granted, the council has to be satisfied that the property is suitable for the number of people who will be living in it and that the person who will be managing the property is “fit and proper”.

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.

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.

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

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 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.

Your tenancy agreement should include certain key terms, including information about the property, the tenancy, rent and other payments, repairs and your use of the property.

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