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Disrepair and over occupation

Background

Rose got in touch about concerns she had after completing a routine inspection of a property. 

She found the house in a very poor condition. There was also significant damage caused by condensation as the house wasn’t being property ventilated. There was also evidence to suggest that additional people may been living there. 

Rose was worried about the safety of her tenant but also her liability if other people were living in the house. By the time she got in touch with us she had asked a surveyor to assess the damage and wanted to know if she could issue notice to quit as a result of the damage.

How Landlord Advice helped

We advised Rose to speak to her tenant about why property was not being properly maintained. Given that a fixed term contract was in place, we advised her to check the tenancy agreement to identify any potential breaches. 

Regarding her concerns about potential over occupation of the property, we advised Rose that there is no legal definition of overcrowding for private tenancies in Northern Ireland. However, we encouraged her to check for mention of unauthorised tenants in her contract. We also cautioned Rose that over occupation could run the risk of her property being considered an unlicensed House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO), therefore running the risk of a fine.