Houses in multiple occupation

Houses in multiple occupation (HMO)

House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a term used to describe occupation that involves sharing part of the accommodation.

It applies to both bedsit style housing and shared housing, where a group of people who are not related share amenities such as a bathroom or kitchen. The property must be occupied by three or more people forming two or more households.

The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 applies to all HMOs and places duties on the landlord to provide additional fire safety provisions and to maintain common parts, fixtures, fittings and appliances. Properties also have to be free from hazards in accordance with the Housing, Health and Safety rating system (HHSRS)

If you are an owner occupier / tenant renting out or subletting a few rooms in your house you may also have an HMO. Further information regarding this can be found at the website here

Types of HMO

  • a house / converted building or flat split into bedsits where the tenant has exclusive use of their room but shares a kitchen or bathroom and WC
  • a house or flat share with 3 or more tenants who are not related to each other
  • students living in shared accommodation where they have exclusive use of the whole house
  • an owner-occupier (live in landlord) with more than 3 or more lodgers
  • A building which is converted entirely into self-contained flats if the conversion did not meet the standard of the 1991 Building Regulations and more than a third of the flats are let on short-term tenancies
  • A building subject to a ‘HMO Declaration’ under section 255, Housing Act 2004.
  • the term can also refer to hostels for vulnerable individuals, bed and breakfast accommodation or hotels that are perhaps used for homeless people, womens' refuges, night shelters etc.

If a HMO has 5 or more occupiers accessing the house / converted building or flat it may need to be licensed by the Council, you can find out more information here.

Further information

You can contact the Environmental Health team on Tel 01609 767138 or e-mail