What is an HMO?

A property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) if both of the following apply:

  • at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than one household
  • toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities are shared

A household consists of either a single person or members of the same family who live together. It includes people who are married or living together and people in same-sex relationships.

An HMO must have a licence if it is occupied by 5 or more people. We publish a register of all licensed HMOs.

All HMOs must be safe and well managed. It is an offence not to comply with the HMO Management Regulations.

A building which has been poorly converted into flats may also be a special type of HMO. They have their own set of management regulations.

The HMO definition can be very complex. Further information is available from GOV.UK.