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Houses in Multiple Occupation

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a property where there are three or more unrelated people, forming more than one household, living in a property and sharing amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom and/or WC. This could be a flat, maisonette or a house and the occupiers could be on one or multiple tenancy agreements.  A household is defined as members of the same family including cohabiting couples.

What standards do HMOs need to meet? 

All HMOs and shared accommodation is required to meet fire and amenities standards to ensure there is a safe means of escape in case of fire; there is early warning in the event of a fire; there are sufficient amenities for the number of occupiers; the property is not overcrowded and is in good repair.

This service has adopted the LACORS Housing Fire Safety Guidance and the amenities standards are taken from the Housing Act 2004.   

Do I have any legal duties for my HMO?

Yes. HMOs are covered by various pieces of legislation, but in particular the Housing Act 2004 and The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 which highlights specific duties which you must follow. 

Do I need a licence for my HMO?

You may need a licence to operate your HMO. We operate mandatory licensing for the larger type HMOs within the London Borough of Sutton:  

Larger HMOs are defined as any property with 5 or more unrelated occupiers, forming more than 1 household and sharing amenities;

Purpose built blocks with more than 3 flats are now exempt from HMO Licensing.  Note they may still be classified as HMOs that are required to meet our fire and amenity standards.  

The number of occupiers includes resident landlords and their household. 

If you are a resident landlord, you are allowed 2 lodgers before your property is classed as a HMO.