A house in multiple occupation means:

  • three or more unrelated tenants live there in the property for at least 2 separate households – e.g 3 single people with their own rooms, or 2 couples each sharing a room, or
  • the tenants share basic amenities – e.g. a kitchen and/or bathroom.

An HMO can also be:

  • a house divided into individual bedsits;
  • a shared house or shared flat, with separate rental agreements per person;
  • a hostel;
  • a bed-and-breakfast hotel (not just used for holiday purposes);
  • students shared accommodation.

If you’re unsure weather your property is a HMO, just ask your local council.

HMO Properties have additional landlord responsibilities:

  • The landlords contact details must be made clear in a common part of the HMO;
  • correct fire safety measures have been established;
  • smoke detectors are a legal requirement in each bedroom and communal areas the kitchen must also have a heat detector;
  • annual gas safety checks are a legal requirement;
  • electrical appliances are checked every 5 years;
  • there is no overcrowding in the property;
  • appropriate cooking and washing facilities are provided;
  • communal areas are maintained and in good condition;
  • there is the correct number of rubbish bins provided for all tenants.

A property is an HMO if:

  • 5 or more unrelated people reside there;
  • there are 2 or more separate households living there.

A normal licence lasts for 5 years however some councils give them for shorter periods. Before a property is given a licence the local Council responsible will look to see if:

  • the property is the correct size for the occupants due to live there;
  • it has been managed and maintained well.

Landlords that own a HMO without registering it with the local Council can face legal action.

Landlords are responsible for the following repairs:

  • structure and outside of the house – such as the walls, window frames and gutters;
  • water and gas pipes;
  • electrical circuits and appliances;
  • basins, sinks, baths and toilets;
  • fixed heaters (radiators) and water heaters.