Renting out your property (England and Wales)

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.

Licences

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.

Risk assessment

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.

Reporting changes

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)