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.