Is my property an HMO?

It will be an HMO if it is one of the following:

  • a shared house lived in by people who belong to more than one family* and who share one or more facilities**
  • a house in bedsits lived in by people who belong to more than one family* and who share one or more facilities**
  • an individual flat lived in by people who belong to more than one family* and who share one or more facilities**
  • a building of self-contained flats that do not meet 1991 Building Regulation standards

Exemptions

  • if it is occupied by only two people
  • if it is occupied by the owner (and their family if any) and one or two lodgers
  • if it is occupied by a religious community
  • if the occupiers have their main residence elsewhere
  • if no rents are payable or other considerations are provided such as free staff accommodation
  • if the owner or manager is a public body
  • if the owner or manager is an educational institution
  • if it is a building of self-contained flats and two thirds or more of the flats are owner-occupied
  • if the property is part of a guest house or hotel (unless an ‘HMO Declaration’ is made)

Which HMOs require a licence?

An HMO must have a licence if all three of the following apply:

1.     It is an HMO (see definition of HMO above)

2.     It is three storeys or more (includes basements)

3.     It is occupied by five or more people forming at least two households

Exemptions

  • If the whole property is in self-contained flats
     

* Family – husband, wife, co-habitee, child, step-child, foster-child, grandchild, parent, step-parent, foster-parent, grandparent, brother, half-brother, sister, half-sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin.

** Facilities – basic amenities: toilet; wash hand basin, shower, bath; cooking facilities.