Houses in Multiple Occupation

1. Overview

What is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?

A house in multiple occupation is a house occupied by people who do not live as a single household. This can include bedsits, shared houses, hostels, non-self contained flats and houses converted into flats. Hotels, guest houses and bed and breakfast establishments that are used to accommodate homeless people or asylum seekers are also HMOs.  

Houses or buildings occupied by only one household are not HMOs.

See our Guidance to HMO Amenity Standards document. This guidance is intended to assist in the provision of accommodation in Houses in Multiple Occupation which contributes to a safe and healthy environment for the occupants and any visitors.

Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Larger, higher-risk HMOs are now required to be licensed.

This will include HMOs which comprise three storeys or more and are occupied by five or more persons, forming two or more households. Attics and basements used for accommodation are counted as storeys.

Converted blocks of flats that fall within the definition of HMO will not be subject to mandatory licensing.

In order to be licensed we must be satisfied that the house meets a prescribed amenity standard, is managed by a fit and proper person and that there are suitable management arrangements in place.

The HMO Public Register provides details of all HMO licenses in the borough.