If you rent out a property to 3 or more unrelated people who share the bathroom or toilet and kitchen, you must register it as a house in multiple occupation (HMO). A HMO, also known as a house share, must meet certain requirements and be registered with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).
Your responsibilities as a landlord
As a landlord of a HMO, you must:
- ensure the property is not overcrowded
- make sure the property is fit for multiple occupants, ie there is enough cooking space and washing facilities
- provide the NIHE with all the necessary information about your HMO
Fees for HMOs
You’ll have to pay a fee for registration and for any future renewals. Registration is usually valid for 5 years, after this time you can make a renewal. The cost is based on the number of occupants at the property; the more occupants there are, the higher the fee will be. HMO advice for landlords.
How to register your HMO
You can register your HMO by contacting the NIHE on Tel: 03448 920 900. Alternatively, complete the online registration form.
Fines and penalties
If you breach any of your agreements with the NIHE, it may result in a fine, including:
- up to £1,000 for failing to provide the NIHE with the information they request
- up to £5,000 for providing false information
- up to £2,500 if found guilty of overcrowding
- up to £5,000 if someone is living in part of the property that NIHE deemed unfit for occupation (you’ll then be charged up to 10% of the fine every day this continues)