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Houses in Multiple Occupation Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Suitability of living accommodation for multiple occupation

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

13.—(1) In determining for the purposes of section 8(2)(e) whether living accommodation is, or can be made, suitable for occupation as an HMO by the specified maximum number of persons, the council must have regard to—

(a)the matters set out in subsection (2),

(b)the minimum standards set under subsection (3) for the accommodation’s condition, facilities or equipment for that number of persons, and

(c)the extent (if any) to which the accommodation falls short of the provisions of building regulations.

(2) The matters referred to in subsection (1)(a) are—

(a)the accommodation’s location,

(b)the type and number of persons likely to occupy it,

(c)the safety and security of persons likely to occupy it, and

(d)the possibility of undue public nuisance.

(3) The Department may by regulations set minimum standards which must be met in relation to the matters set out in subsection (5) in order for accommodation to be regarded as suitable for occupation by prescribed numbers of persons.

(4) In having regard to those minimum standards, the council—

(a)cannot be satisfied that the accommodation is suitable if the council considers that the accommodation fails to meet the standards, but

(b)may decide that the accommodation is not suitable for occupation by that number even if the accommodation does meet the standards.

(5) The matters referred to in subsection (3) are—

(a)natural and artificial lighting,

(b)ventilation,

(c)installations for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation, space heating and heating water,

(d)personal washing facilities,

(e)facilities for the storage, preparation and provision of food,

(f)any requirements about the display of signs relating to fire exits or other matters,

(g)interior and exterior decoration,

(h)safety equipment (including fire safety equipment), and

(i)disposal of refuse.

(6) The standards that may be set under subsection (3) include standards as to the number, type and condition of facilities or equipment which should be available in prescribed circumstances.

(7) In subsections (3) and (6), “prescribed” means prescribed in the regulations.

(8) In relation to any application for an HMO licence, the “specified maximum number of persons” means—

(a)the number of persons specified in the application as the proposed maximum for the accommodation, or

(b)if the council decides to specify a lower number in the licence, that lower number.

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