Domestic rental property: landlord and tenant responsibilities

Register a house in multiple occupation


The law on private renting in Northern Ireland changed on 1 April 2023. For further details read the Private Tenancies Act (Northern Ireland) 2022.

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). An HMO, also known as a house share, must meet certain requirements and be registered with your local council.

Houses in Multiple Occupation.

Your responsibilities as a landlord

As a landlord of an 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 your local council with all the necessary information about your HMO

HMOs - advice for landlords

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 your local council. Find contact details of local councils in Northern Ireland

Fines and penalties

If you breach any of your agreements with your local council, it may result in a fine, including:

  • up to £1,000 for failing to provide the information requested
  • 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 a part of the property that is deemed unfit for occupation (you'll then be charged up to 10% of the fine every day this continues)