House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

All of our properties are HMO's.

What is an HMO?

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), is a building, or part of a building, (such as a flat) that is occupied by more than one household, and that:

  • shares or lacks an amenity, such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities
  • is a converted building which may contain, but is not entirely, made up of self-contained flats, eg floor-by-floor lets, (whether or not some amenities are shared or lacking)
  • is converted into self contained flats, but does not meet as a minimum standard the requirements of the 1991 Building Regulations, and at least one third of the flats are occupied under short tenancies.

Does my property need a licence?

As the law stands at the moment, not all HMO's need a licence. If your property requires a licence, you will find it displayed in the hallway or communal lounge.

In April 2006, the Government introduced compulsory licensing of larger, higher-risk Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) as part of the Housing Act 2004. If you can answer yes to all of the questions below, your property must be licensed.

Does your property have:

  • three or more floors, including habitable basements and attics?
  • five or more occupants, including children?
  • two or more households?
  • shared amenities such as a bathroom, kitchen or toilet?

The properties most likely to be affected by this law are student properties and bedsits where individual tenants share kitchens and bathrooms. However, hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation and some guest houses may also need a licence. Anyone who manages or owns an HMO that falls into this description must apply to the council for a licence.