Houses in multiple occupation

What is multiple occupation?

Your home is a house in multiple occupation (HMO) if both of the following apply:

  • at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than one household
  • toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities are shared with other tenants

What is a household?

A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. A family includes people who are:

  • married or living together - including people in same-sex relationships
  • relatives or half-relatives, for example, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings
  • step-parents and step-children


  • Shared flats and houses
  • Bedsits
  • Hostels
  • Halls of residence for students or nurses
  • Boarding houses
  • Hotels or bed and breakfasts with permanent residents
  • Some supported accommodation, such as foyers or 'move on' accommodation for homeless people

All HMOs are inspected by us to make sure they are free from hazards that could affect the health and safety of any occupants or visitors.

Some landlords will need a licence from us.