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Houses in Multiple Occupation Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Chapter 3: Hazards
Section 54: Definition of a hazard

Section 54 defines that a hazard in an HMO is something that constitutes a risk of harm to the health or safety of an actual or potential occupier. The risk may arise from a deficiency in the accommodation forming the HMO, any building or land the accommodation forms part of, or any building or land in the vicinity of that accommodation.

Section 55: Hazard notice

This section makes arrangements about hazard notices. Such a notice can be served where a council is satisfied that a hazard exists in relation to an HMO. There is also provision for this notice to be treated as an “emergency hazard notice” that can come into operation immediately where there is an imminent risk to any of the occupiers of the HMO.

Section 56: Contents of hazard notice: prohibitions

A hazard notice may impose prohibitions on the use of any premises as the council considers appropriate in view of the hazard(s) to which the notice relates.  Where the hazard affects a flat, the prohibition may cover the use of any part of the building containing the flat or any external common parts.  A prohibition may include a requirement to obtain the approval of the council for the use of the property in particular ways.

Section 57: Contents of hazard notice: other matters

A hazard notice must specify in relation to each hazard: the nature of the hazard; the HMO in which it exists; the deficiency giving rise to the hazard; and the date on which the notice is made.

Section 58: Works requirement

A hazard notice may also contain a works requirement.  Section 58 sets out that a works requirement is that an owner carries out work in order to remove the hazard.  The work must be specified in the notice and can be anything which the council regards as appropriate for removing the hazard.  If the work is done, the hazard notice must be lifted.

Section 59: Approvals as to the use of premises

This section states that any approval of the council with regards to a prohibition placed on a property must not be unreasonably withheld and that the owner may appeal to a magistrates’ court against a refusal to give approval.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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