House in multiple occupation (HMO) licence

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

What is a house in multiple occupation (HMO)?

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) exists where three or more unrelated people live in a property and share amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom and/or WC. This could be a flat, maisonette or a house and the occupiers could be on one or multiple tenancy agreements. 

What standards do HMOs need to meet? 

All HMOs (licensable and non-licensable) are required to meet fire and amenities standards to ensure the means of escape is protected, there is early warning in the event of a fire, there are sufficient amenities for the number of occupiers, the property is not overcrowded and is in good repair.

This service has adopted the LACORS Housing Fire Safety Guidance and the amenities standards are taken from the Housing Act 2004.

Do I have any legal duties for my HMO?

Yes. HMOs are covered by various legislations, but in particular the Housing Act 2004 and The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 which lists eight specific duties which you must follow. 

You may need a licence to rent out a HMO, especially if your property is a house share, divided into bedsits or a hostel. We operate two licensing schemes for HMOs: mandatory licensing and additional licensing.