House in multiple occupation (HMO)
What is a house in multiple occupation (HMO)?
In most cases a HMO is:
- A house or a flat in which three or more people forming two or more households share some basic facilities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.
- A building which comprises of bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation in which three or more people forming two or more households share some basic amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.
- A building which comprises of one or more flats which are not entirely self-contained and is occupied by three or more people forming two or more households.
- Buildings that comprise of self-contained flats which do not meet certain criteria about their construction based on the 1991 Building Regulations standard (known as Section 257 HMOs), where less than two thirds of flats are owner occupied and where three or more people forming two or more households occupy the building.
A household is generally taken to mean a single person, cohabiting partners or people living together who are members of the same family.
There are circumstances where people will be regarded as a single family where they are not related, for example where accommodation is provided for a carer, au pair, nanny etc. Two unrelated persons sharing a flat or house would not constitute as a HMO.
To be classed as an HMO the property must be used as the tenants only or main residence.
Properties let to students and migrant workers will be treated as being their only or main residence, as would properties used as domestic refuges and hostels.