Homes and property Houses in multiple occupation (HMO)

What we mean by HMO

Houses in multiple occupation (HMO) is defined as a building, or part of a building (for example, a flat) which:

  • more than one household lives in and shares an amenity, such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities

  • is 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), or

  • 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).

And is 'occupied' by more than one household:

  • as their only or main residence

  • as a refuge by persons escaping domestic violence

  • during term time by students, or

  • for some other purpose that is prescribed in regulations.

And the households comprise:

  • families (including single persons and co-habiting couples (whether or not of the opposite sex); or

  • any other relationship that may be prescribed by regulations, such as domestic staff or fostering or carer arrangements.

You need a licence to rent out certain HMOs. See if you need a licence


You will also be responsible for council tax. To ensure that the Council can send accurate council tax bills quickly, tell us about tenancy changes by emailing the information to:

You are advised to establish lawful use of your premises under planning legislation.  It is also advisable to contact the Council's Planning and Building Control departments for advice.  Contact: and


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