Changes to houses in multiple occupation

The Government has now decided to extend the scope of mandatory HMO licensing to bring smaller HMOs within the scheme. From the 1 October 2018 the following properties will require a mandatory HMO licence:

All HMO's:

  • with 5 or more occupants
  • making up 2 or more households*
  • where occupants share basic amenities such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities (this essentially removes the storey element)
  • 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. Valid applications must be received before the 1 October 2018, and failure to apply for licenses by this date is a criminal offence.

For more information please visit www.harrogate.gov.uk/info/20061/advice_for_landlords/1107/changes_to_house_in_multiple_occupation


We are committed to protecting the health, safety and welfare of all residents who live in 'Houses in Multiple Occupation'.

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
  • 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)
  • 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.

Enquiries form

Page last updated 03/05/2018