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House in multiple occupation (HMO)

House in multiple occupation (HMO)

The Housing Act 2004 introduced a new definition of a house in multiple occupation (HMO). The new definition is detailed and complex. 

A simplified version of the definition is that a house in multiple occupation means a building, or part of a building (eg a flat):

  • that is occupied by more than one household and in which more than one household shares an amenity (or the building lacks an amenity), such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities, or
  • that is occupied by more than one household and is a converted building that does not entirely comprise self-contained flats (whether or not there is also a sharing or lack of amenities), or
  • that is composed 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

Generally, a house in multiple occupation will be a property occupied by more than one household and more than two people, and may include bedsits, shared houses and some self-contained flats.


Last updated on 01 April 2016