What Is A HMO (House In Multiple Occupation)?

POSTED: 1st December 2014
IN: Landlord helpful guides

Any of the following properties are likely to be houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)


  • Bedsits
  • Shared houses
  • Lodgings
  • Hostels.
  • Individual shared self-contained flats/cluster flats
  • Blocks of converted flats
  • Halls of residence (privately operated)
  • Asylum seeker/migrant accommodation
  • Accommodation for workers/employees
  • Refuges

What is the significance of a property being an HMO?

Special legislation applies and the property may need to be licensed by the Council.

Do all HMOs need a licence?

No - the most important point to make is that although a property may fall within the definition of a HMO, it does not automatically follow that it must be licensed. There is a wider definition of what is a HMO which this section deals with and a narrower definition of licensable HMOs. However, before you consider whether a property can require a license, it must be an HMO in the first place. Just because it falls within the general definition of an HMO, it does not automatically follow that a licence is required. Licensable HMOs are a sub division of this general definition.

About HMO properties and licences

The Residential Landlords Association has detailed guidance on all aspects of HMO properties including, amongst other things, exemptions and non-licencable HMOs.

RLA's guidance

The association also provides an interactive Unique Property Selector that helps you do find out if a particular property is an HMO and if it potentially requires a licence.

Unique Property Selector


These guides are provided in association with RLA - The Residential Landlords Association.

The content published on this website is intended to provide information only. The reader should seek advice from experts on the subject matter and independently verify the accuracy and relevance of any information provided here before relying upon it or using it for any reason. You can view our terms and conditions here.

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