HMO stands for “Houses in Multiple Occupation”. DefineD by the government website as “a property is an HMO if it is let as a main or only home to at least three tenants, who form more than one household and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.”. Sound a bit confusing? Well basically if you are renting a property to three or more tenants who are not members of the same family the odds are you will need a HMO.

So what is a household’?

A household is seen as a either a single person or a group of people who live together who are connected by marriage, civil partnership or a recognised couple (same or opposite sex). They can also be related meaning a brother, sister, child or parent etc.

Are there any other conditions that class a property as a HMO?

Yes. A self-contained unit of accommodation is one that has a bathroom, toilet and kitchen inside for exclusive use by the household. To put it simply, if three or more non-related or connected tenants need to leave a unit to gain access to a cooking area, toilet or bathroom then the unit will be deemed not to be self contained and so a HMO would be needed.

Does a HMO need a licence?

If you think your property falls into being classed as a HMO you may need a licence. As a rough guide you will definitely need a HMO licence if your property:

1. has three or more storeys

2. is occupied by five or more persons

3. has tenants that form two or more households

4. has tenants who share the kitchen, bathroom or toilet.

What do you do if you think your property is classed as a HMO?

First you need to contact your local council to find out the HMO regulations for the area the property is in. This guide outlines the general conditions but councils may have other types of HMO’s that need licensing.

For more information about HMO licensing we recommend visiting and searching for HMO licensing.