5. Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
If you let your property to several tenants who aren’t members of the same family, it may be a ‘House in Multiple Occupation’ (HMO).
Your property is an HMO if both of the following apply:
- at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than one household
- toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities are shared
A household consists of either a single person or members of the same family who live together. It includes people who are married or living together and people in same-sex relationships.
An HMO must have a licence if it is both:
- 3 or more storeys high
- occupied by 5 or more people
A council can also include other types of HMOs for licensing.
Find out if you need an HMO licence from your council.
The council has to carry out a Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) risk assessment on your HMO within 5 years of receiving a licence application. If the inspector finds any unacceptable risks during the assessment, you must carry out work to eliminate them.
You must tell the council if:
- you plan to make changes to an HMO
- your tenants make changes
- your tenants’ circumstances change (for example they have a child)