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Multiple Occupancy Homes

Last Modified December 18, 2018

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 (HMO) is occupied by people who do not form a single household and have to share basic amenities like a bathroom, toilet or kitchen.

We have 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 management of the property.

Some HMOs need to be licensed under the provisions of The Housing Act 2004. 

Which properties need licensing?

  • Houses, flats or parts of buildings of any size (including any habitable basements and attics and commercial premises, for example a maisonette over a shop).
  • Properties occupied by five or more people in two 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 property let to five students would need a licence.

What conditions have to be met for a licence?

We have 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, we will consider the number, type and quality of bathroom, toilets and cooking facilities available for the occupants and that rooms meet minimum sizes


Please note any property with more than six persons may need planning permission

Licensed Houses of Multiple Occupation Public Register

The Public Register

Where do I get further information and an application form?

Use the government website or contact the Private Sector Housing Officer

on 020 8207 2277.

Please note the rules for HMO licensing change on 1st October 2018
You need to comply with the documents and guidance below:

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