Private Housing Enforcement
Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
What is a house in multiple occupation (HMO)?
What is a single household?
Do all houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) have to be licensed?
How do I apply for a license?
What about homes that are not affected by licensing?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What about HMOs that are not affected by licensing?
How do I find out more?
If you would like to find out more or require any advice, please contact;
Mr David Petrie Senior Environmental Officer
Mr Hugh Gibbon Renewals Inspector (Enforcement)