Find out what an HMO is, and how they’re managed
What is an HMO?
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are properties rented out to three or more people who:
- do not form the same household*
- share facilities such as a bathroom or kitchen
*A household can be a single person or members of the same family living together.
There are other HMOs, including buildings converted into flats. For more information, see the GOV.UK website.
Please note; the criteria we use when deciding whether to licence an HMO is different to the HMO definition above. To check if you need a licence, please visit our apply for an HMO page.
HMO legislation and standards
All HMOs are subject to higher than usual standards relating to health and safety and fire safety. There is legislation which sets out rules that HMO’s must follow, including:
- providing and maintaining fire safety equipment
- supplying and maintaining electricity, water, drainage and (where available) gas services
- providing waste disposal facilities
- maintaining a good repair, and a clean and decorative order
- providing and displaying contact details to all tenants or occupiers
These rules are set out in full in the:
- Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006
- Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007
It’s a criminal offence not to comply with these regulations. The penalties are:
- prosecution which carries an unlimited fine
- a civil penalty fine of up to £30,000
To find out more about safety standards in HMO’s, please see our HMO standards page.
Apply for an HMO
To apply for an HMO licence, please see our apply for a licence page.