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What is a house in multiple occupation (HMO)?


>> Is my property an HMO?

It will be an HMO if it is one of the following:

  • A shared house lived in by people who belong to more than one family* and who share one or more facilities**
  • A house divided into bedsits lived in by people who belong to more than one family* and who share one or more facilities**
  • An individual flat lived in by people who belong to more than one family* and who share one or more facilities**
  • A building of self-contained flats that do not meet 1991 Building Regulation standards

Exemptions:

  • If it is occupied by only two people
  • If it is occupied by the owner (and their family if any) and one or two lodgers
  • If it is occupied by a religious community
  • If the occupiers have their main residence elsewhere***
  • If none of the occupiers are required to pay rent or give other consideration in respect of the living accommodation
  • If the organisation having control or the manager is a public body
  • If the owner or manager is an educational institution
  • A building of self-contained flats if two thirds or more of the flats are owner-occupied
  • If the property is part of a guest house or hotel (unless an ‘HMO Declaration’ is made)

To see which HMOs need a licence see the Which HMOs need to be licenced page.

*Family - husband, wife, co-habitee, child, step-child, foster-child, grandchild, parent, step-parent, foster-parent, grandparent, brother, half-brother, sister, half-sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin.

**Facilities - basic amenities: wc; wash hand basin, shower, bath; cooking facilities.

***Accommodation used by full-time students while they are studying is taken to be their main residence.


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