Last Modified March 12, 2013
Multiple occupancy homes
Information and details regarding registration and safety requirements for houses in multiple occupancy.
What is a house in multiple occupation?
A "house in multiple occupation" or HMO, is occupied by people who do not form a single household and have to share basic amenities like a bathroom, toilet or kitchen.
The council has standards for all HMOs that are enforced by the Housing Act 2004. The standards relate to fire safety, the provision of adequate amenities for a large group of people and the standards relating to the management of the property.
Some HMOs need to be licenced under the provisions of The Housing Act 2004.
Which properties need licensing?
Houses, flats or parts of buildings of 3 or more storeys (including any habitable basements and attics and commercial premises, for example a maisonette over a shop) and where they are:
occupied by 5 or more people in 2 or more households.
A household can be a family or related people, a co-habiting couple (whether or not of the opposite sex) or a single person. So a 3-story town house let to 5 students would need a licence.
What conditions have to be met for a licence?
The council has to be sure that:
the proposed licence holder is a "fit and proper" person;
proper management standards are being applied to the property;
the HMO is reasonably suitable for occupation by the number of tenants to be licensed. To determine this, the council will consider the number, type and quality of bathroom, toilets and cooking facilities available for the occupants and that rooms meet minimum sizes.
Where do I get further information and an application form?
You should contact the private sector team on 020 8207 2277 who will be able to help you further with your enquiry.