Living in shared accommodation

Sharing rented accommodation with friends, fellow students or workers is a good way to keep your rent and other bills down.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

In a HMO, three or more tenants who aren't members of the same family live there as their principal residence. For example, students in shared accommodation during term time or people from overseas who work in Northern Ireland usually live in HMOs.

HMOs include:

  • flatlets
  • bedsits
  • shared houses
  • lodgings
  • hostels
  • self-contained flats

Safety standards in HMOs

HMOs have high safety standards as there are greater risks involved. For example, people often lock their rooms in shared accommodation, so there may be an increased risk of fire.

To make sure properties meet safety standards, landlords may need to register houses they rent to multiple occupants. Landlords don't always need to register these properties. Landlords should check if their property needs to be registered:

Student accommodation

Students can rent university-managed or registered accommodation. For more information about renting student accommodation, go to:

Universities and colleges also have information about student accommodation:

Housing information in other languages

To read housing rights information in other languages go to: 

There is information in Bulgarian, Cantonese, English, French, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Polish, Russian, Slovak and Portuguese.

You can learn more about renting privately, homelessness, sharing a home, paying for your accommodation and other issues that affect migrant workers.

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