Houses in multiple occupancy (HMO's)

A HMO is a house or flat that is occupied by:

  • three or more people who form two or more households
  • the occupiers share or lack facilities such as the kitchen, bathrooms and WC's.

This includes, for example:

  • shared houses
  • houses containing bedsits
  • combination of bedsits
  • self-contained flats where facilities are shared.

Properties converted entirely into self-contained flats which do not meet the standards of the 1991 Building Regulations with at least one third of those flats occupied on short term tenancies are also HMO's.

Am I classed as one household or more?

A family living together in a property is classed as a single household, family relatives include:

  • au-pair
  • parents
  • grandparents
  • children
  • stepchildren
  • grandchildren
  • brothers
  • sisters
  • uncles
  • aunts
  • nephews
  • nieces
  • cousins
  • a relationship of the half-blood shall be treated as a relationship of the whole blood.

However, if three friends live together that would be considered as three households. If a couple share with a third person then that would consist of two households.

Housing Act 2004

For a full definition of "house in multiple occupation" please see S.254 of Housing Act 2004.

The Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), licensing requirements and management regulations are used collectively when assessing and undertaking action relating to HMO's.

Households - S.258 Housing Act 2004.

Last updated: 9.39am on Thursday 5 December 2019

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