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New HMO legislation


Jim rang Landlord Advice for some guidance on the new Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) legislation that came into effect in Northern Ireland on 1 April 2019.

He has a registered 2 bedroom HMO which is occupied by a couple and another single tenant. The registration for the property is due for renewal in two years. In light of the new legislation, Jim wanted to know if he needed to do anything before that.


How Landlord Advice helped

Our adviser told Jim that the legislation includes a new licensing process administered by Belfast City Council. Landlords with HMOs registered under the NI Housing Executive only need to apply for a licence when their current registration is due for renewal. 

We also advised Jim that the legislation has changed the definition of a HMO. Previously, a HMO was defined as a property where three or more people from two or more families lived.

The new definition is where three (or more) people from three (or more) families live in the same property and at least one person pays rent. Due to this change,  Jim’s property is no longer classified as a HMO and he will not need to apply for a licence. This is because the couple would be seen as one family and the other tenant would be another family, meaning only two families are living in the property.

We let Jim know that if the makeup of the tenants in his property changed, he should get back in touch for further advice.


What landlords say about the service

"I really did appreciate the advice and help that I received. It was a great comfort for me to know that I can speak to you and to be kept up to date on changes in legislation."


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