028 9024 5640 (option 1)
operated by Housing Rights

Buying a house in multiple occupation (HMO)


Brendan got in touch for some advice about a property he is planning to buy.

The property already has a HMO licence and three sitting tenants. He knew that the property must be licensed at all times and wasn’t sure how he could get the licence transferred into his name. 

Brendan was also worried as the property is in an area with a lot of HMOs and he was concerned that a new licence application might be turned down.


How Landlord Advice helped 

Our adviser told Brendan that he would need to apply for a HMO licence in his name before the sale of the property completes. 

The law states that a HMO licence will expire when a property is sold to a new owner, leaving it unlicensed. However, if Brendan submits a HMO licence application in his name before the transfer of ownership, the existing licence will remain valid until a decision is made on his own application.

While his application is effectively for the transfer of an existing licence, he still needs to meet all the usual requirements for a new licence for his application to be considered.

If the council accepts his application before the property sale completes, it wouldn’t be an increase the number of HMOs in the area. This means his application shouldn’t be turned down on the basis of overprovision. 

We also advised Brendan that he (and any managing agent) will need to pass the ‘Fit and Proper Person Test’ as part of the licence application. This test checks for any previous breaches of housing law or criminal offences, ensuring that HMO managers are responsible and will comply with licensing requirements.

Our adviser told Brendan that if his licence application was turned down, he as the right to appeal the decision within 28 days of the decision.  


What other landlords say about the service

"The advisor was very knowledgeable and helpful and sent me lots of follow up information. Excellent service, really valuable."


If you are a registered Landlord in Northern Ireland and need advice, contact us on 028 902 45640 (option 1), or send an email.