What is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?
A rented property is considered a House in Multiple Occupation if:
- at least three tenants live there, forming more than one ‘household’
- the tenants share toilet, bathroom and/or kitchen facilities
What is a large HMO?
A rented property is considered a large House in Multiple Occupation if:
- the property is at least three storeys high
- at least five tenants live there, forming more than one ‘household’
- the tenants share a toilet, bathroom and/or kitchen facilities
What is a ‘household’?
A household is defined as either a single person or members of the same family who live together. A family includes people who are:
- married or living together (including same-sex couples)
- relatives or half-relatives (eg grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings)
- step-parents and step-children
What are my responsibilities if I let a HMO?
As well as all your normal legal responsibilities you must ensure:
- smoke detectors are installed
- electrics are checked every five years
- that the property is not overcrowded (there should be a separate room for sleeping for each couple, each single person over 21, and for every two young people aged over 10 years)
- there are adequate cooking and washing facilities
- communal areas and shared facilities are clean and in good repair
What are my responsibilities if I let a large HMO?
As well as those responsibilities covered by a standard HMO, you must ensure you have been approved for a HMO licence by your local council. A HMO licence will last for five years and will only be granted if:
- the property meets an acceptable standard (ie. it is large enough for all occupants and well managed)
- the property is managed by a ‘fit a proper’ person (no criminal record or breach of letting legislation)
You must contact your local council to determine whether you need a HMO licence before you let to tenants. If not, you could risk a fine of up to £20,000.