Houses in Multiple Occupation

What is a house in multiple occupation?


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The Housing Act 2004 defines houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). HMOs include house and flat shares, student homes, bedsits and some buildings converted into flats.

A household may be a single person or several members of the same family. For example:

  • a house occupied by a brother, sister and one other unrelated occupant would form two households;
  • three unrelated persons would form three households.

The tenancy agreement is not relevant in determining if a house is an HMO. Nor is the size of the property (e.g. the number of storeys).

More information on HMOs and properties that require a licence

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