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Ride_on

Multiple Occupancy

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My old flat that I now rent out has just been defined as multiple occupancy house (simple 4 flat conversion of terraced house), seemly requiring about £2K of safety work to bring up to standard. It seems this was because of my honesty in going to the council to get fitness certificate because it is pre 1945. Not only that but they dealt out a health nuisance notice because the spare bed room window was painted shut.

This is where all the tax payer money is going. Not that I mind quality efforts from the gov't, but those who don't bother are not chased down, making honesty a cost to me relative to my competitors.

I grilled the (2) guys on the regulations to find out when/how it is to be implemented, ie what is the cut off date or if for new developments, but they didn't seem to know. The best I could get out of them was that its a phased introduction and that they are not telling anyone, except on a street by street strategy and referrals from the council.

Anyone know anything about this?

Edited by Ride_on

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My old flat that I now rent out has just been defined as multiple occupancy house (simple 4 flat conversion of terraced house), seemly requiring about £2K of safety work to bring up to standard. It seems this was because of my honesty in going to the council to get fitness certificate because it is pre 1945. Not only that but they dealt out a health nuisance notice because the spare bed room window was painted shut.

This is where all the tax payer money is going. Not that I mind quality efforts from the gov't, but those who don't bother are not chased down, making honesty a cost to me relative to my competitors.

I grilled the (2) guys on the regulations to find out when/how it is to be implemented, ie what is the cut off date or if for new developments, but they didn't seem to know. The best I could get out of them was that its a phased introduction and that they are not telling anyone, except on a street by street strategy and referrals from the council.

Anyone know anything about this?

Didn't know you were an investor/landlord. There has been a big concern with a lot of existing houses - converted into HMO's, particularly in the holyland without the proper building control approval. If it was a new build it would have to comply with these standards from the start. The problem is fires. Are the different parts of the former single dwelling properly isolated to give the proper fire protection from the rest. Are the smoke detector linked, is there a separate fire escape and will the start-well last for 1 hour?

Some of these houses are a death trap, I know I lived in them and they should all be brought up to standards. They will never meet the standards of new build but great improvements could be made.

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Didn't know you were an investor/landlord. There has been a big concern with a lot of existing houses - converted into HMO's, particularly in the holyland without the proper building control approval. If it was a new build it would have to comply with these standards from the start. The problem is fires. Are the different parts of the former single dwelling properly isolated to give the proper fire protection from the rest. Are the smoke detector linked, is there a separate fire escape and will the start-well last for 1 hour?

Some of these houses are a death trap, I know I lived in them and they should all be brought up to standards. They will never meet the standards of new build but great improvements could be made.

Its all very nice and progressive to bring old things up to standard, but this flat is certainly not a death trap. 2 stories and easy exit from the windows. Its also a listed building, with high ceilings. They told me a disabled person would have difficulty existing by the windows, but they'd find it a damn site harder getting up the stairs..doh.

AFAIK each flat is separated by brick walls, except ceiling/floors which are as you'd expect, wooden + plaster. Doors are simple wooden doors, but I think we are ok with that because its only 2 story, but next door is 3 story.

To be honest I wouldn't mind if it was being implemented across the board, it just seems so hap-hazard and unnecessary. We lived there for 18 years, lucky we got out in time :rolleyes:

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Bet you can't wait til we get HMO licensing similar to that now in force in England and Wales:

HMO licensing

Its the same old story - unfortunately the irresponsible landlords cause the problems for the responsible ones by renting out properties not fit for purpose - HMOs tend to be the ones at higher risk so most regulation is focused towards them.

Another thing - did you get planning permission for the conversion? - I think I seen a story on the news recently saying Planning service may limit any more conversions in areas such as the Holylands which are already saturated with them.

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Its all very nice and progressive to bring old things up to standard, but this flat is certainly not a death trap. 2 stories and easy exit from the windows. Its also a listed building, with high ceilings. They told me a disabled person would have difficulty existing by the windows, but they'd find it a damn site harder getting up the stairs..doh.

AFAIK each flat is separated by brick walls, except ceiling/floors which are as you'd expect, wooden + plaster. Doors are simple wooden doors, but I think we are ok with that because its only 2 story, but next door is 3 story.

To be honest I wouldn't mind if it was being implemented across the board, it just seems so hap-hazard and unnecessary. We lived there for 18 years, lucky we got out in time :rolleyes:

Two story should help save you. Once you go into three story you have to fire proof the hallway. Fireproof doors and closures, double up on the plasterboard etc.

Welcome to the NI world of Red Tape.

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Bet you can't wait til we get HMO licensing similar to that now in force in England and Wales:

HMO licensing

Its the same old story - unfortunately the irresponsible landlords cause the problems for the responsible ones by renting out properties not fit for purpose - HMOs tend to be the ones at higher risk so most regulation is focused towards them.

Another thing - did you get planning permission for the conversion? - I think I seen a story on the news recently saying Planning service may limit any more conversions in areas such as the Holylands which are already saturated with them.

It wasn't a recent development, it was converted about 50 years ago, which why I'm a bit annoyed this is being pushed on me now.

Edited by Ride_on

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My mate has a 4 bedroom apartment in NI. He is moving abroad and wants to keep it and rent to students as it is near the uni - how would he be affected by HMO rules ??

The property is in a 4 story purpose built block built in 2004 I believe with just 3 apartments in total :

flat 1 taking the whole of the ground floor
flat 2 all of the first floor
flat 3 his property is a duplex spread over all of the second and third floor.

I said I would do some research online for him but I thought I might come here for a shortcut !!!

I understand when renting to 4 people he would need to ensure the apartment meets all the HMO requirements.
I know a friend of a friend with a 4 bed property who spend £1200 -1500 to get it up to standard with most of the work in the fire alarm system.
(1) Do you know of anyone who provides a quotation service for potential costs of works?
(2) One of my concerns is is it possible he could be denied HMO if for example the block of 3 apartments did not meet the HMO criteria as a whole block ?
For example if the common areas did not meet the required standards. The property only has a stairwell and no lift. Or is this most unlikely in a development built only ten years ago would not be up to HMO standard in the common areas.
Edited by getdoon_weebobby

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also do you need to apply for a change of use to an HMO from the planning service ? Costs ? Can this be denied for example if too many HMOs in that area ?

Edited by getdoon_weebobby

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Bet you can't wait til we get HMO licensing similar to that now in force in England and Wales:

HMO licensing

Its the same old story - unfortunately the irresponsible landlords cause the problems for the responsible ones by renting out properties not fit for purpose - HMOs tend to be the ones at higher risk so most regulation is focused towards them.

Another thing - did you get planning permission for the conversion? - I think I seen a story on the news recently saying Planning service may limit any more conversions in areas such as the Holylands which are already saturated with them.

I've lived in about 6 HMOs and they were all poorly maintained, there needs to be much tougher regulation and it needs to be properly enforced. The current regime, even with some councils bringing in their own schemes, is a complete farce in my opinion.

As to what the OP is saying, I've also lived in a flat in an Edwardian house that was converted into twelve flats and I could never get my head around the fact that it was technically classed as a HMO (there was a certificate to this effect in the communal hallway) but I was responsible for the council tax on the flat - band A.

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My mate has a 4 bedroom apartment in NI. He is moving abroad and wants to keep it and rent to students as it is near the uni - how would he be affected by HMO rules ??

The property is in a 4 story purpose built block built in 2004 I believe with just 3 apartments in total :

flat 1 taking the whole of the ground floor
flat 2 all of the first floor
flat 3 his property is a duplex spread over all of the second and third floor.

I said I would do some research online for him but I thought I might come here for a shortcut !!!

I understand when renting to 4 people he would need to ensure the apartment meets all the HMO requirements.
I know a friend of a friend with a 4 bed property who spend £1200 -1500 to get it up to standard with most of the work in the fire alarm system.
(1) Do you know of anyone who provides a quotation service for potential costs of works?
(2) One of my concerns is is it possible he could be denied HMO if for example the block of 3 apartments did not meet the HMO criteria as a whole block ?
For example if the common areas did not meet the required standards. The property only has a stairwell and no lift. Or is this most unlikely in a development built only ten years ago would not be up to HMO standard in the common areas.

Most houses rented out to students are not technically classed as HMOs because the landlords often get students to sign joint contracts which is effectively the equivalent of declaring that they're a family, so not in multiple occupation.

However recently (and understandably) some councils have started to require that properties within a certain area (often student areas) should be required to be licenced as a HMO.

That said, I have lived in a HMO within one of these areas and the landlord was trying to kick us out so he could rent the house to students.

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HMO implementation in NI is a shambles in my experience.

As an owner occupier and landlord of two flats (of six in a detached Victorian house) I was slapped with a threat of court if the property was not brought up to HMO standard.
The management company arranged the work and it was carried out to most of the property at considerable expense (my share around £15,000). However another owner refused to allow contractors into their flat and reportedly assaulted the inspector who was tasked with enforcement. Then when the rest of us paid for his share of the communal area works with the expectation that we would be reimbursed after the Housing Executive pursued him for non-compliance we are told that the house was wrongly designated as an HMO. I was told that if fewer MLAs were landlords themselves the situation might have been sorted much quicker.
I appreciate the need to bring the housing stock up to proper safety standards and am happy to have a fire blanket but to be told that The NIHE is currently still reviewing the HMO Legislation under flatlets four and a half years after being issued with a compliance notice supposedly under that order with accompanying threats of penalties makes me think the original poster here should hold fire on any work.

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HMO implementation in NI is a shambles in my experience.

As an owner occupier and landlord of two flats (of six in a detached Victorian house) I was slapped with a threat of court if the property was not brought up to HMO standard.
The management company arranged the work and it was carried out to most of the property at considerable expense (my share around £15,000). However another owner refused to allow contractors into their flat and reportedly assaulted the inspector who was tasked with enforcement. Then when the rest of us paid for his share of the communal area works with the expectation that we would be reimbursed after the Housing Executive pursued him for non-compliance we are told that the house was wrongly designated as an HMO. I was told that if fewer MLAs were landlords themselves the situation might have been sorted much quicker.
I appreciate the need to bring the housing stock up to proper safety standards and am happy to have a fire blanket but to be told that The NIHE is currently still reviewing the HMO Legislation under flatlets four and a half years after being issued with a compliance notice supposedly under that order with accompanying threats of penalties makes me think the original poster here should hold fire on any work.

I'm sorry to hear about the problems you've experienced. IMO what's needed is clearer legislation and I think we'll get that in the next parliament. HMO classification has always been a bit of a grey area because of how poorly drafted previous housing acts have been. At the moment what you have are various councils bringing in their own HMO licencing scheme yet these very same councils presided over donkeys years of incorrectly classifying HMOs on a huge scale.

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