About Houses in Multiple Occupation
A rented property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) if:
- the property is the tenant's only or main residence
- occupants share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet, and
- there are three or more tenants who make up two or more households, or
- it is a building converted into self-contained flats, the conversion did not meet the 1991 Building Regulation standards and short term tenancies are in place for more than one-third of the flats
The HMO could be:
- an entire house or flat
- a house converted into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation
- a converted house which contains one or more flats that are not wholly self-contained
We will treat properties let to students and migrant workers as their only or main residence. We will treat properties that are domestic refuges in the same way.
It is important to know if a property is an HMO as there is a higher risk of management problems as several people live in them.
To reduce these risk, there are management regulations that place additional duties on HMO owners, managers and tenants. You can find out more about HMO management regulations.
Not all properties in multiple occupation are HMOs. A property is not a HMO if it is a:
- property where the landlord and his household is resident with up to two tenants
- two-person flatshare
- property or part of a property lived in by no more than two households each of which consists of only one person
- buildings occupied entirely by freeholders or long leaseholders
- buildings managed or controlled by a public body, such as the police or NHS, a local housing authority or registered social landlord
- buildings where the residential accommodation is not the main use of the building, such as religious buildings
- buildings which are already regulated (and where the description of the building is specified in regulations) such as care homes
- purpose built blocks of flats unless any of the flats are shared by more than two tenants in two or more households
If you own a HMO, you will need to get a licence.