What is an HMO?

What is an HMO?

Is this an HMO?

What is an HMO?

From our Friends at ARLA...

What is a HMO? 

A house in multiple occupation is a property rented out by at least three people who are not from one ‘household’ (e.g. a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. It’s sometimes called a ‘house share’.

You must have a licence if you’re renting out a large HMO. Your property is defined as a large HMO if all of the following apply:

  • it’s rented to five or more people who form more than one household
  • it’s at least three storeys high
  • tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities

For more information on HMOs in England, download the Government's guide - Licensing of houses in multiple occupation in England: a guide for landlords and managers

Proposed changes to HMOs

In October 2016 the Government made proposals for extending the mandatory licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation for which ARLA submitted a detailed response.  

The consultation sought views on the government’s proposals which included:

  • Remove the storey rule so all houses (regardless of how many floors) with 5 or more people from 2 or more households are in scope – this will further enable local authorities to tackle poor standards, migration and the problems being seen in high risk smaller properties as the sector has grown;

  •  Extend mandatory licensing to flats above and below business premises (regardless of the number of storeys) - as the evidence shows more problems in these properties; and

  • Set a minimum room size of 6.52sq-m in line with the existing overcrowding standard (Housing Act 1985) to close a loophole recently created by an upper-tier tribunal ruling which is enabling some landlords to let rooms far too small for an adult to legally occupy.

The Government intends to implement the changes through Secondary Legislation, which means that they can make changes to the law using powers from an existing Act of Parliament.

DCLG are currently analysing the results of the consultation and Ministers will be making an announcement shortly. We understand that legislation is likely to be implemented at some point this year.