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The Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1992


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Directions to prevent or reduce overcrowding in houses in multiple occupation

85.—(1) The Executive may, for the purpose of preventing the occurrence of, or remedying, a state of affairs calling for the service of a notice or a further notice under Article 80, fix as a limit for the house what is, in its opinion, the highest number of individuals or households, or both, who or which should, having regard to the requirements set out in paragraph (2) of that Article, occupy the house in its existing condition, and give a direction applying that limit to the house.

(2) A direction under paragraph (1) shall have effect so as to make it the duty of the occupier of the house not to permit the number of individuals or households occupying the house to increase to a number above the limit specified in the direction, and, if it is above that number, not to permit it to increase further.

(3) References in paragraphs (1) and (2) to a house include references to part of a house, and the Executive shall have regard to the desirability of applying separate limits where different parts of a house are, or are likely to be, occupied by different persons.

(4) The reference in paragraph (2) to the occupier includes a reference to any person who is entitled or authorised to permit individuals or households to take up residence in the house, or any part of it.

(5) Not less than 7 days before giving a direction under this Article, the Executive shall—

(a)serve on every person appearing to it to be an owner of the house notice of its intention to give the direction; and

(b)exhibit such a notice in some position in the house where it is accessible to those living in the house;

and shall afford to any person on whom a notice is so served an opportunity of making representations regarding its proposal to give the direction.

(6) The Executive shall, within 7 days from the giving of the direction—

(a)serve a copy of the direction on every person appearing to it to be an owner of the house; and

(b)exhibit a copy of the direction in some position in the house where it is accessible to those living in the house.

(7) The power conferred by paragraph (1) may be exercised as regards any premises notwithstanding the existence of any previous direction under that paragraph laying down a higher maximum.

(8) The Executive may at any time, having regard to the works which have been executed in the house, or any other change of circumstances, and on the application of any person having an estate in the house, revoke any direction given under paragraph (1), or vary it so as to allow more individuals to be accommodated in the house.

(9) If the Executive—

(a)refuses an application under paragraph (8); or

(b)does not within 35 days from the making of such an application, or within such further period as the applicant may in writing allow, notify the applicant of its decision on the application;

the applicant may appeal to a court of summary jurisdiction, and, on the appeal, the court may revoke the direction or vary it in any manner in which it might have been varied by the Executive.

(10) The Executive may serve on the person appearing to it to be the occupier of a house, or part of a house, in respect of which a direction under this Article is in force a notice requiring him to furnish it, within 7 days, with a statement in writing giving all or any of the following particulars—

(a)the number of individuals who are, on a date specified in the notice, living in the house or, as the case may be, the part of the house;

(b)the number of families or households to which those individuals belong;

(c)the names of those individuals and of the heads of each of those families or households;

(d)the rooms used by those individuals and families or households respectively.

(11) Any person on whom a notice is served under paragraph (10) who fails to comply with it or furnishes a statement which to his knowledge is false in any material particular, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale.

(12) Any person who knowingly fails to comply with a direction given under paragraph (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.

(13) The powers conferred by this Article shall be exercisable whether or not a notice has been given under Article 80 and shall be without prejudice to the powers conferred by Article 76.

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