To let out your property as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) you must first register it with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).
A house in multiple occupation is a property rented out by at least 3 (unrelated) people who share the bathroom or toilet and kitchen. It can also be known as a house share.
As a landlord 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
- ensure adequate fire escapes
- provide the NIHE with all the necessary information about your HMO
You’ll have to pay a fee for registration and for all future renewals.
Fees are based on each person living in the house - the more occupants there are, the higher the fees.
Registration is normally valid for 5 years and renewals can be made for further years.
How to register
Contact the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) to apply for registration under the Statutory Registration Scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation.
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 the NIHE deemed unfit for occupation (you’ll then be charged up to 10% of the fine every day this continues)