Regulations mean improved living conditions in shared housing
Tighter regulations will mean better living conditions for those in shared housing.
The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) has worked with the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service, tourism officials and local authorities to close loopholes in regulations governing houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
A HMO is occupied by more than six unrelated people who share amenities such as kitchens and bathrooms.
The properties are typically former boarding houses that have been converted for residential use and form an important part of the Island’s housing stock.
The regulations stipulate minimum standards of accommodation and ensure that there are adequate amenities for the number of occupants.
All HMOs are now required to be registered with the relevant local authority.
Prior to premises being registered, DEFA’s environmental health officers will inspect them, working with other agencies, to ensure they comply with regulations.
With the first registrations now taking place, Martyn Perkins MHK, DEFA Member for Environment, Safety and Health, said: ‘The regulations should spell an end to people living in overcrowded and inadequate conditions in shared housing.
‘Those sharing accommodation have the right to expect it is maintained to a certain standard and to have access to suitable amenities.
‘Our measures will protect occupants of such premises, in line with our Programme for Government pledge to be responsible regulators and have housing that meets society’s needs.’
For advice on registering HMOs, visit www.gov.im/hmo or ring 01624 685894.