What is an HMO?
‘HMO’ stands for house in multiple occupation. Also known as houses of multiple occupancy, these are residential properties where ‘common areas’ exist and are shared by more than one household. In layman’s terms, this covers the majority of shared houses on the market in London, which used to be family homes and are now usually shared by young professionals or students.
An HMO is any property with:
- 3 or more tenants
- More than 1 household
- Shared facilities
How do you define how many households are in your property?
A household is a single person, or members of the same family that live together. Every tenant from a separate family creates a new household. So a group of 4 unrelated students is 4 households.
However, if all of your tenants are from the same family, this counts as one household.
What constitutes as family in this context?
As family can be a complicated situation, it is good to know how local authorities define what family is in order to understand what your property falls under. Here are the definitions of family:
- Tenants that are married or living together as a couple, (including same sex relationships) and their children.
- All relatives & half-relatives- e.g. grandparents, step-parents, aunts, uncles, siblings & step-siblings.
- 3 brothers or sisters living together are one household – is not an HMO
- 3 friends living together are 3 households – is an HMO
- 2 couples living together are two households – is an HMO
- 1 couple and one single person are two households – is an HMO
If you let a property to 3 or more unrelated people it will require an HMO licence.
If you let any property that falls within selected streets or areas it will require a Selective licence.
If you let a property on a Selective street, but it qualifies as an HMO, they will require an HMO licence.