When is a Property a HMO

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a property rented out by at least 3 people who are not from 1 ‘household’ (for example a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. It’s sometimes called a ‘house share’.

If you want to rent out your property as a house in multiple occupation in England or Wales you must contact your council to check if they have any restrictions or specific requirements and find out if you need a licence.

You must have a licence if you’re renting out a large HMO in England or Wales. Your property is defined as a large HMO if all the following conditions apply:

  • it is rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 household
  • some or all tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities
  • at least 1 tenant pays rent (or their employer pays it for them)

Even if your property is smaller and rented to fewer people, you may still need a licence depending on the specific area so you should always check with your local council first.

You can check this online using the postcode

Restrictions

The licence fees vary as they are set individually by each local authority. 

A licence is valid for a maximum of 5 years.

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