Tenants – Houses in Multiple Occupation

House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Terraced Houses

If you are looking to rent a room or bedsit in a house, or are already renting such accommodation, than this property may be to be classed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

HMO’s have various legal requirements placed on the property including both fire safety and security. Some HMO’s may need to be licensed by the local authority.

What is a HMO?

In most cases an HMO is a house or a flat in which two or more households live as their main or only residence and where some of these households share basic facilities, such as a kitchen, toilet or bathroom.

Other types of HMOs include converted buildings that include non self-contained flats; buildings that include self-contained flats and which meet certain tests; and where basic facilities are missing.

A household is:

  • families (including single people, couples and same sex couples)
  • other relationships, such as fostering, carers and domestic staff.

Some HMOs, may require a licence from the local authority. These are generally be defined as:

  • 3 or more storeys high
  • have 5 or more people living in more than one household.
  • shared amenities such as bathrooms, toilet and cooking facilities.

If you are looking to rent such a property you should check with the landlord that all legal requirements are covered. If the property is licensed you can check with the local authority where the property is located.

Further information:

Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in England – A guide for tenants

This is a document has been produced by Communities and Local Government and gives a good overview on HMOs. Download the document HERE.

Read This First: ‘Important advice for tenants and lodgers on finding the right accommodation and for Landlords on how to provide it’.

Read This First! gives a good overview on everything you need to consider when renting a property. Visit our dedicated page: Read This First.

A Guide to Fire and Security Protection in Multi-Occupied Residential Properties – 2012 edition

This document is a detailed guide to the requirements on such properties. Whilst it is a technical document – it gives a good overview of a wide range of different property types and the legislative requirements place on them. Visit our dedicated page on A Guide to Fire and Security Protection in Multi-Occupied Residential Properties.

Questions or questions about HMO’s.

If you are looking to rent, or are renting, a room or a bedsit in a house and which you believe it is a HMO and you have any concerns, then you can contact the local authority that the property is located in, for further information. For a full list of Homestamp local authorities visit our Partners page.


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