What is an HMO?

What is an HMO?

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) are generally houses split into bedsits, shared houses such as student houses or divided into some self-contained flats.

Consult the Housing Act 2004 on legislation.gov.uk for a more detailed definition.

If a landlord lets a property which is one of the following types it is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO):

  • an entire house or flat which is let to three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet (for a definition of household please see the frequently asked questions)
  • a house which has been converted entirely into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and which is let to three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities
  • a converted house which contains one or more flats which are not wholly self contained (ie the flat does not contain within it a kitchen, bathroom and toilet) and which is occupied by three or more tenants who form two or more households
  • a building which is converted entirely into self-contained flats if the conversion did not meet the standards of the 1991 Building Regulations and more than one-third of the flats are let on short-term tenancies

In order to be an HMO the property must be used as the tenants’ only or main residence. Properties let to students and migrant workers will be treated as their only or main residence. The same will apply to properties which are used as domestic refuges and to accommodate asylum seekers and their dependants.