Published: 30/12/2018Ahouse 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 you need a licence.
You must have a licence if you’re renting out a largeHMOin England or Wales. Your property is defined as a largeHMO if all of the following 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)
A licence is valid for a maximum of 5 years and therefore you must renew it before it rans out. A separate licence is required for each HMO that you ran.
You must make sure:
- the house is suitable for the number of occupants (this depends on its size and facilities)
- the manager of the house - you or an agent - is considered to be ‘fit and proper’, for example they have no criminal record or breach of landlord laws or code of practice
- send the council an updated gas safety certificate every year
- install and maintain smoke alarms
- provide safety certificates for all electrical appliances when requested
Exemptions to Mandatory Licensing
Mandatory licensing does not apply to HMOs that meet the converted blocks of flats test, otherwise known as s257 HMOs. A local authority has the discretion to designate s257 HMOs as licensable under additional licensing schemes. However, individual flats within a s257 HMO could still require a mandatory licence if they meet the mandatory test.
To find out more about HMO properties and licensing, please get in touch to speak to one of our surveyor.