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. For properties that contain occupiers that form 2 or more households and share amenities such as kitchen, bathroom, living area and any communal space require a HMO licence. The tenancy agreement is not relevant in determining if a house is a HMO, nor is the number of storeys.
An HMO requires a licence and a landlord commits an offence by letting a HMO without a licence.
Landlords must hold either a mandatory or additional licence if they are operating an HMO in Camden.
The definition of a mandatory licensable HMO changed on 1 October 2018. The requirement applies to most properties occupied by 5 or more people forming 2 or more households, regardless of the number of storeys.
The only exemption is for HMOs which are flats located in purpose built blocks containing 3 or more flats.
Please note: If you have a HMO that meets this criteria and you already hold an additional HMO licence you do not need to do anything until that licence expires. Upon renewal, you will need to re-apply for a mandatory licence.
This is a local scheme to Camden which came into force on 8 December 2015.
Additional licensing applies to other HMOs not covered by mandatory licensing. It applies to any property occupied by 3 or more people forming 2 or more households.
It also applies to buildings converted into self-contained flats that do not meet the standards of the Building Regulations 1991 (or later) and 50 percent or more of the building is rented.
Please note: Applications received for properties with zero tenants may be returned. This is because the Housing Act 2004 makes it clear that a house cannot be a HMO (and therefore licensable) until it is occupied by persons as their residence. For this reason, an application should be made as soon as a property is rented out as a licensable HMO.