House in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s)

What is a HMO?

A HMO means a House in Multiple Occupation as defined by the Housing Act 2004, and it applies to a wide range of housing types and includes:

  • A building or a part of a building, which consists of one or more units of living accommodation
  • Where two or more of the households who occupy the living accommodation, as their only or main residence, sharing one or more basic amenities (like a kitchen, toilet or bathroom)


  • A converted building where more than one household lives and doesn’t entirely comprise self contained flats (whether or not there is also a sharing or lack of amenities)


  • comprises entirely of converted self contained flats and the standard of conversion does not meet, at a minimum, that required by the 1991 Building Regulation and more than one third of the flats are occupied under short tenancies, (known as Section 257 HMOs)

A Household Comprises

  • A couple (whether or not married, and including same sex couples)
  • Persons related to one another as:
    • a parent or grandparent
    • a brother or sister
    • a child, grand child or step child
    • a cousin
    • a niece or nephew
    • an uncle or aunt
  • Any other relationship that may be prescribed by regulations, such as domestic staff or fostering or carer arrangements.