Houses in multiple occupation HMO

We're committed to providing residents who wish to rent in RBKC with good quality and safe accommodation which is managed by responsible landlords or letting agents. This means working with landlords and agents to create a more professional private rented sector and tackling those who mistreat their tenants or fail to provide a decent, safe home for them.

What is an HMO?

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), is a building, or part of a building, such as a flat, that: 

  • is occupied by more than one household, and where more than one household shares, or lacks, an amenity, such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities. 
  • is occupied by more than one household and which is a converted building – but not entirely self-contained flats (whether or not some amenities are shared or lacking).
  • is converted into self-contained flats but does not meet as a minimum standard the requirements of the 1991 Building Regulations, and at least one third of the flats are privately rented. In Kensington and Chelsea this type of HMO does not require a licence.

If you have any queries or need help, please see our frequently asked questions, or contact us on [email protected].

HMO licensing

In Kensington and Chelsea, it is a legal requirement to license all privately rented properties which are occupied by three or more people living as two or more separate households who share facilities. Households are defined in law and are generally individuals, couples or families. Unrelated house/flat sharers cannot be counted as households regardless of their tenancy or domestic arrangements.

Kensington and Chelsea currently operates a mandatory HMO licensing scheme and to improve standards even further we are implementing an additional HMO licensing scheme from 1 June 2023.

Mandatory HMO licensing covers HMOs with five or more occupiers. The exception is when such a property is a purpose-built flat in a block containing more than two self-contained flats - these are outside the Mandatory licensing scheme but will fall under the Additional licensing scheme (see below).

Additional HMO licensing covers all other HMOs (three or more occupiers) that do not fall within the Mandatory licensing scheme.

Landlords who fail to license risk enforcement from the council.

Last updated: 28 April 2023