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Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

What is an HMO?

A HMO is a property occupied by more than one household. Properties that are occupied by more than 5 people, over 3 or more storeys must be licensed.

Go to National HMO Network for a full explanation of the definitions under the Housing Act (2004).

HMO Standards Document

All HMOs must provide a certain level of facilities for use by the tenants.

The specific requirements can be found in the Prescribed Standards for Houses in Multiple Occupation document. If you live in a HMO and are concerned about the standards, please contact us.

Government Management Regulations

There are Management Regulations set out the requirements for managing and maintaining an HMO.

Housing, Health and Safety Rating System

Renting Out Your Property on GOV.UK to learn about the standards required for tenants with regards to health, safety and welfare.

HMO Licensing

Landlords will need an HMO licence if a property has:

  • Three or more storeys (this includes cellar, basement, shops and loft conversions)

  • Five or more tenants forming more than one household.

It is offence to fail to license an HMO, and landlords can be prosecuted and fined up to £20,000 for failing to license.

Students and Host Families

Licensing also applies to host families that have four or more students in a property that is three or more storeys high (including basement and attic rooms) for 90 or more days in any year.

If your property has three or more students for less than 90 days in any year, it may still be categorised as a House in Multiple Occupation although will not require a licence.

Register of Licenced HMOs

The council must maintain a public register of all premises licensed as HMOs.


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