Houses in Multiple Occupation

Pages in Houses in Multiple Occupation

  1. 1. You are here: Houses in Multiple Occupation
  1. 2. Register of Licences of Houses in Multiple Occupation

The Environmental Health team works to ensure the safety of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the same way as they do in other rented accommodation using the  Housing Health and Safety Rating System.  For more details please see Housing Standards in the private sector

However HMOs are also subject to additional regulation.

What is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?

HMOs are accomodation where amenities are shared by persons who do not belong to the same household.  For example;

  • It can be a shared house or flat:
    • When 3 or more tenants (in at least 2 households*) rent a whole house and share the kitchen and/or bathroom and/or toilet it is an HMO. NB where the landlord is resident then it only becomes an HMO when there are 3 tenants in addition to the landlord and his family.
  • It can be a house that has been converted to contain bedsits or bedrooms:
    • Where there are 3 or more tenants (in at least 2 households*), each household rents a room or bedsit and shares a kitchen and/or bathroom and/or toilet with the others then it is an HMO
  • It can be a house that has been converted to contain some bedsits or bedrooms and some self contained flats.
    • Where there are 3 or more tenants (in at least 2 households*) in the non self contained accommodation only and each of these households rents a room or bedsit and shares a kitchen and/or bathroom and/or toilet with others it is an HMO.
  • A converted house containing all self contained flats
    • In certain circumstances an HMO can also sometimes be a converted house containing all self contained flats This is only the case where the building has not been converted to the standard required by the 1991 Building Regulations and when more than a third of the flats are let on short term tenancies (that is terms granted for less than 21 years). This type of HMO is called a Converted Block of flats and is sometimes also known as a section 257 HMO. Such HMOs are subject to different regulations to those listed above.

*Household means

A single person, a co-habiting couple (irrespective of sex) or members of the same family.

Exemptions

Some properties are exempt from being classed as HMOs for example properties of the types described above but owned by Public Sector Bodies, Housing Associations, the Health Service and the Police.

For more detail please download our leaflet:

Houses in Multiple Occupation Management (England) Regulations 2006

A person managing an HMO is required to comply with these regulations. They set out the duties of the manager to:

  • supply information to the occupier and to display it
  • take safety measures - by keeping the means of escape  in case of fire clear from obstructions and by maintaining the means of escape including any provided equipment
  • maintain water supply and drainage
  • supply and maintain gas and electricity
  • maintain common parts, fixtures fittings and appliances
  • maintain living accommodation
  • provide waste disposal facilities

in addition the regulations also set out the duties of the residents to co-operate with the manager, to take reasonable care and to follow instructions given by the manager.

Leaflet on the Management of HMOs (once the leaflet is amended)

Planning Permission

Sometimes planning permission is required for a House in Multiple Occupation.  If you are considering converting a dwelling house into an HMO your should seek advice from the planning department as to whether permission is required. The HMO management regulations and the licencing provisions apply whether or not you need planning permission in your particular case.

Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation

Some HMOs are required to be licenced. Find out if this applies to you by downloading our leaflet

Does my HMO require a licence?

Apply for an HMO licence

If your property meets the criteria set out above then you will need to apply for an HMO licence.  You can download the form, some information and the notes to help you fill out the form here.

  • Application form
  • Information leaflet
  • Notes for completion of application form.

Licence Conditions

  • Prescribed Conditions leaflet
  • LACORS fire guidance
  • Amenity Standard

Penalties

If you fail to apply when it is required .....see woking - good heirachy