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Department commences consultation on houses in multiple occupancy 13 February 2013

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture has today released a consultation document on secondary legislation relating to the regulation of a flat or house in multiple occupation (HMOs). The proposed legislation requires any flat or house in multiple occupation to be registered with a local authority as well as setting the standards of amenity within that accommodation.

Currently HMOs are illegal though are seen as a necessary type of housing which has grown unregulated in recent years. The use of old guest houses and old hotels for this type of accommodation is increasing across the Isle of Man and it is recognised that enforcement of current legislation would likely exacerbate any perceived housing problems such as homelessness.

The Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 provides the Department with powers to make HMOs legal provided they meet the necessary standards set down in the legislation. This will, in turn, increase the amenity value, facilities and occupancy levels of this type of accommodation.

Minister for the Department, Phil Gawne, MHK said “the introduction of this legislation is aimed at extending powers to local authorities to control the construction and maintenance of premises used or intended for use as flats or houses in multiple occupancy. It will extend the necessary protections for tenants of this type of property to ensure that they have reasonable and safe accommodation in which to live”.

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