8. Houses in Multiple Occupation

Your home is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) if both of the following apply:

  • at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
  • you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants

Your home is a large HMO if all of the following apply:

  • it’s at least 3 storeys high
  • at least 5 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
  • you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants

A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. A family includes people who are:

  • married or living together - including people in same-sex relationships
  • relatives or half-relatives, eg grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings
  • step-parents and step-children

Standards, obligations and how to complain

If you live in a large HMO, your landlord must meet certain standards and obligations. Find out more about HMOs from Shelter.

Contact your local council to report hazards in your HMO. The council is responsible for enforcing HMO standards and can make a landlord take action to correct any problems.

Reclaim rent

All large HMOs need a licence from the local council.

You may be able to apply to a tribunal to reclaim some of your rent if your landlord has been prosecuted by the council for running an unlicensed HMO.