Houses in multiple occupation
What is a HMO?
A property is an HMO if it is let as a main or only home to at least three tenants, who form more than one household and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.
A household consists of either a single person or members of the same family who live together, including:
- People who are married or living together
- People in same-sex relationships
- Relatives who are living together - including step-children, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins and foster children
- Certain live-in domestic staff such as au pairs, nannies, nurses or other carers, gardeners, chauffeurs, servants (if certain conditions are met)
If you are a tenant in shared accommodation, you may live in an HMO. These properties can be an entire house, flat or converted building or any of the following:
- Shared houses
- Households with a lodger
- Purpose-built HMOs
- Guesthouses - if rented out of season
- Bed and breakfasts providing accommodation for homeless people
- Some types of self-contained flats converted from houses
Does an HMO need a licence?
An HMO must have a licence if it is:
- Of three or more storeys
- Occupied by five or more persons who form more than one household