What is an HMO?

A house in multiple occuption (HMO) is a property (house or flat) which is let out to 3 or more tenants, who form 2 or more households and who share a living room, kitchen, bathroom or toilet.

Management of HMO Regulations 2006

All properties meeting the HMO definition need to ensure that they comply with the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2006. These regulations, produced by the government, require anyone who manages an HMO to observe proper standards of repair, cleanliness and maintenance throughout the property.

HMO Licence

In addition, some HMOs will also require a licence from the council if they meet the following criteria:

  • have three storeys or more (including cellars, attics, basements, mezzanine floors and loft conversions); AND
  • are occupied by five or more people in two or more households; AND
  • share facilities such as kitchen, bathroom or laundry.

Note: From 1 October 2018, the mandatory HMO licensing scheme is changing to include all properties which are occupied by five or more people in two or more households, who share facilities regardless of the number of storeys in the building. For more information, please download the guidance notes.

Housing health and safety rating system

Housing standards may also be assessed in HMOs using the housing health and safety rating system and the council may require work to be carried out if any serious ‘category 1’ hazards are identified.