Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

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What is an HMO?

Under the Housing Act 2004 an HMO is:

  • an entire house or flat occupied by three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
  • a house that has been converted into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and occupied by three or more tenants, forming two or more households and sharing a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
  • a converted house which contains one or more flats which are not wholly self-contained and which is occupied by three or more tenants occupying two or more households
  • a building converted entirely into self-contained flats where less than two thirds are in owner occupation and where the conversion did not comply with the 1991 Building Regulations
  • HMO Legislation (external link).

Mandatory Licensing

The Housing Act 2004 provides for the mandatory licensing of certain HMOs.

Generally an HMO will need a mandatory licence if it is:

  • Shared by five or more people and
  • Has three or more storeys (including basements, attics and commercial units

Management Regulations


Category A1 Bedsits

“Bedsits” mean, for the purpose of this standard, HMOs which comprise a number of separatenon-self-contained bedsit lettings. Cooking and food preparation facilities are provided withinthe individual units of accommodation, although some occupants may share a communalkitchen, and toilets and bathing/washing facilities will mostly be shared. Each bedsit will be letto separate individuals or couples with the occupant(s) of each living independently of allothers.

The Standards

Category A2 Bedsit-type HMO

“Bedsit-type HMO” means, for the purpose of this standard, HMOs which comprise anumber of separate non-self-contained individual room lettings where a communal sharedkitchen is provided. There is no cooking within the individual lettings. A communal livingroom may be provided. There are usually individual tenancies rather than a single jointtenancy. Bedroom doors will usually be lockable. Initially there may be little or no socialinteraction amongst the residents although this may change over a period of time.

The Standards

Category B Shared House

“Shared houses” mean, for the purposes of this standard, HMOs where thewhole property has been rented out by an identifiable group of sharers suchas students, work colleagues or friends as joint tenants. Each occupantnormally has their own bedroom but they share the kitchen, dining facilities,bathroom, WC, living room and all other parts of the house.

The Standards

Category F Self Contained Flats

“Self Contained Flats” mean, for the purposes of this standard, houses or buildings whichare constructed as or converted entirely into self-contained flats, even if certain facilities are located outside the main door of the flat.

The Standards