The UK Rules
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Houses in Multiple Occupation

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

What does Houses in Multiple Occupation mean? Houses of multiple occupancy relates to any residential property that gets shared by more than one household.

HMO LEGISLATION: As a rule, HMO residents share 'common areas' within the property.

Do you let your property to several tenants who are not all members from the same family? In this case, you might be letting a 'House in Multiple Occupation'.

There is a simple way to determine if your property is a House of Multiple Occupancy. You have an HMO if both of these apply to you:

1. Three or more tenants live inside creating more than one household.
2. They share some common facilities such as bathroom, toilet, or kitchen.

What does a 'household' consist of relating to Houses in Multiple Occupation? A household means a single person or several members of the same family living together.

Households include married people and unmarried couples who live together. It also relates to people who cohabit in same-sex relationships.

Houses in Multiple Occupation Licence and Licensing

If you are a landlord renting out a property, you must have an HMO licence if both of these apply to you:

  1. The building has 3 or more storeys
  2. The property has 5 or more people living inside.

Some district councils may include other property types that need HMO licensing. You should contact your local council to confirm whether you need an HMO licence.

Housing Health and Safety Rating System Risk Assessment

The council will carry out a Housing Health and Safety Rating System risk assessment on your HMO. This occurs within 5 years of receiving your House in Multiple Occupation licence application.

The house inspector will check for any unacceptable risks during the HHSRS assessment. The landlord must then conduct the appropriate work to eliminate any hazards.

House in Multiple Occupation Reporting Change of Use

You must report some specific changes to your local council such as if:

  1. You plan to make some structural changes to an HMO.
  2. Your tenants make any changes to the property.
  3. The circumstances of your tenants change (e.g. having a child)
Houses in Multiple Occupation Legislation
Last Updated 2017