House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a term used to describe occupation that involves sharing part of the accommodation. It applies to both bedsit style housing and shared housing where a group of people who are not related share a house or flat. If you are a residential landlord renting out a few rooms in your own property you may also be considered a HMO.
If you let a property which is one of the following types, it is a House in Multiple Occupation:
- an entire house or flat which is let to 3 or more tenants who form 2 or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
- a house which has been converted entirely into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and which is let to 3 or more tenants who form 2 or more households and who share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities
- a converted house which contains 1 or more flats which are not wholly self contained (i.e. the flat does not contain within it a kitchen, bathroom and toilet) and which is occupied by 3 or more tenants who form 2 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
- A building occupied by the owner (and his/her family) and more than 2 lodgers who have a licence to occupy their accommodation
In order to be a HMO the property must be used as the tenants only or main residence and it should be used solely or mainly to house tenants. Properties let to students and migrant workers will be treated as their only or main residence and the same will apply to hostels for vulnerable individuals, bed and breakfast accommodation or hotels that are perhaps used for homeless people, women’s refuges, night shelters etc.
Two unrelated people sharing accommodation is excluded from the term HMO.