What is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?
The Housing Act 2004 introduced a new definition of what constitutes a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
An HMO means a building (or part of a building, such as a flat), that:
- is occupied by more than one household and where more than one household shares, or lacks an amenity, such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities or
- is occupied by more than one household and which is a converted building, but not entirely into self-contained flats (whether or not some amenities are shared or lacking) or
- is converted self-contained flats, but does not meet as a minimum standard the requirements of the 1991 Building Regulations, and at least one third of flats are occupied under short tenancies
The building may be occupied by more than one household:
- as their only or main residence
- as a refuge of people escaping domestic violence
- by students during term time
- for other purposes prescribed by the government
Persons do not form a single household unless they are members of the same family or they form a prescribed relationship defined by regulations. A household refers to:
- families, including single people, couples and same sex couples
- other relationships, such as fostering, carers and domestic staff
We ensure that these premises are fit for occupation and suitable for the numbers of people intending to live in them.
We achieve this by:
- responding to complaints
- revisiting premises to ensure that work has been carried out and standards are being maintained
- viewing planning applications
For further information on multiple occupancy homes please follow the links under related information or contact us using the form below.
The Government has now extended the scope of mandatory HMO licensing to bring smaller HMOs within the scheme. From the 1 October 2018 the following properties require a mandatory HMO licence:
- with five or more occupants, making up two or more households and
- where occupants share basic amenities such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities (this essentially removes the storey element) or
- purpose built flats where there are up to two flats in the block and one or both are occupied in the above definition
There is no grace period for the new mandatory licensing requirements. Failure to apply for licenses by this date is a criminal offence.
Licensed houses in multiple occupations
The HMO application pack and associated documents
Amenity and space standard
Application form for a licence to operate a House in Multiple Occupation
HMO licence additional sheets section 2
HMO licence additional sheets section 2.8
HMO licence additional sheets section 3 and 6
HMO licence additional sheets section 4
HMO floor plan example
HMO fire risk assessment
Making your premises safe from fire
For more information on the recent changes to HMO licensing please visit changes to house in multiple occupations page.