Houses in multiple occupation HMO

Houses in Multiple Occupation

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 to create a more professional rented sector and tackling those who mistreat or fail to provide a decent, safe home to their tenants.

Since 2006, it has been a legal requirement to license all rented properties anywhere in the UK which are occupied by five or more people living as two or more separate households who share facilities. You can read more about the property types that require mandatory licensing on the website.

RBKC currently operates a mandatory HMO licensing scheme. An additional HMO licensing scheme will be implemented from 1st June 2023. 

Covid-19 advice 

The following letter has being sent to HMO licence holders and managing agents to help you maintain a safe environment in your properties.

Further information is available on the Public Health England website.

What is a 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 self-contained flats, but does not meet as a minimum standard the requirements of the 1991 Building Regulation, and at least one third of the flats are privately rented

For more information visit the HMO standards page.

Changes to the licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation 1 October 2018

From 1 October 2018 mandatory licensing is no longer limited to HMOs that are three or more storeys high, but also includes buildings with one or two storeys.

For mandatory licensing to apply, the HMO (or Flat in Multiple Occupation) must be occupied by five or more persons, from two or more separate households. This change has meant that flats, maisonettes and 2 storey properties may require a licence if they are occupied by 5 or more people forming two or more households sharing basic amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom, or toilet. Flats situated in purpose-built blocks consisting of 3 or more flats do not require a licence.

Landlords of HMOs that fall under these definitions will be committing a criminal offence if they fail to apply for a licence or a temporary exemption. 

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

Last updated: 23 February 2023