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Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a property where several people live and share facilities, but do not form a single household. For example a bedsit, hostel, shared houses and flats.
Find out more about homes in multiple occupation on the GOV.UK website.

For owners and residents of HMOs, we have produced a Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Policy (pdf 210KB) and Diversity Impact Assessment screening form (pdf 80KB).

HMO regulations

All HMOs are subject to regulations. These regulations impose duties on the manager of a HMO so that certain facilities are provided, inspected and maintained, the physical structure of the property is kept in good order, and residents are provided with emergency contact details.

The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006  cover all HMOs which do not comprise self-contained units.

The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007  cover some buildings that have been converted into self-contained flats.

HMO licensing

Under the Housing Act 2004, the government has introduced a mandatory licensing scheme for some HMOs.

At present, HMO licensing only applies to buildings that are three or more storeys high (includes basements and loft conversions) and occupied by five or more people.

Landlords must submit a separate licence application for each property rented out. While the council has to charge a fee for processing licence applications, discounts are offered to multiple applications.

The licence will last for five years.

All licensed HMOs will be inspected to identify disrepair, fire safety, or other safety concerns. Landlords will be required to bring their property up to standard within a fixed period.

Download the Private Sector Housing Strategy for HMO licensing (pdf 641KB).

Download the Public Register of Licensed HMO Properties (pdf 120KB).

Licences will be granted if the:

  • house is or can be made suitable for multiple occupation
  • the applicant is the most appropriate person to hold the licence
  • proposed manager has control of the house
  • management arrangements are satisfactory.

Fees 2016-2017

  • Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation - £974.00
  • Second or Subsequent Application - £865.70
  • Change of Licence Holder - you must submit a new application.
  • Change of manager - £101.30
  • Licence variation - £123.70
  • Licence renewal fee- with no significant changes - £365.70
  • Licence renewal fee- with significant changes - £619.00
  • 2nd Reminder letter for a HMO licence - £36.80
  • Unlicensed HMO fine - £157.60

Facilities standards

All HMOs must contain a sufficient number of bathrooms, toilets and kitchens for the number of people living in them. Find out about Medway Council's standards for Houses in Multiple Occupation.