Private Housing Enforcement

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

1. What is a house in multiple occupation (HMO)?
2. What is a single household?
3. Do all houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) have to be licensed?
4. How do I apply for a license?
5. What about homes that are not affected by licensing?

1. What is a house in multiple occupation (HMO)?

Under the new legislation, an HMO is a property that is:-

  • Occupied by 3 or more people, forming 2 or more households, sharing amenities e.g. bathroom and kitchen facilities, or
  • Converted into self-contained flats, but does not meet the requirements of the 1991 Building Regulations and at least one third of the flats are privately rented, or
  • Occupied by 3 or more people, forming 2 or more households, in a converted building that is not entirely self-contained e.g. a basement flat with shared accommodation in a maisonette at ground and first/second floor levels.

Back to top

2. What is a single household?

Section 258 of the Housing Act 2004 says, to count as a single household, persons must be members of the same family. This includes;

  • Married couples, or those living as husband and wife, including those in an equivalent same sex relationship or
  • One of them is a relative of the other

‘Relative’ includes parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece or cousin and half relatives, step-children and foster children.

A single household also includes any domestic staff if they are living rent free in accommodation provided by their employer.

Back to top

3. Do all houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) have to be licensed?

No.

HMOs made up of self contained flats don’t need a license.

The Housing Act 2004 says that certain types of larger HMOs must be licensed – this is Mandatory Licensing.

Mandatory Licensing

This covers HMOs that are:

  • Three or more storeys high and,
  • Are occupied by 5 or more persons who do not form a single household.

Back to top

4. How do I apply for a licence?

If your property is already registered under our existing scheme, we will have your details and will contact you. Your property will be ‘passported’ across to HMO licensing. You will automatically receive a licence which will last for the remainder of the registration period.

New Applicants should contact the Private sector housing team for an application pack. Application forms will be available on this website shortly.

Back to top

5. What about HOMs that are not affected by licensing?

All HOMs, regardless of size or location, must still meet minimum fire safety standards. Please contact the Private sector housing team for further information.

How do I find out more?

Contact Information:

If you would like to find out more or require any advice, please contact;

Mr David Petrie Senior Environmental Officer
(01437) 775616
Email: Dave.petrie@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

Mr Hugh Gibbon Renewals Inspector (Enforcement)
(01437) 775615
Email: Hugh.Gibbon@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

Hazel James Technical Clerk
(01437) 775627
Email: Hazel.James@pembrokeshire.co.uk

ID: 1795, revised 21/12/2017