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Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) definition

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What are Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)?

The Housing Act 2004 introduced a new definition of a house in multiple occupation - view the Housing Act 2004.

Generally a house in multiple occupation will be a property which has:

  • More than 1 household and more than 2 people
  • 3 or more storeys (this includes cellars, basements, loft conversions and flats above pubs or shops)
  • Facilities such as bathrooms or kitchens are shared

Therefore, bedsits, shared houses and some self-contained flats may be HMO properties.

Houses fully converted into self contained flats will generally not be HMOs provided that they were or are converted in accordance with the appropriate building regulation standards. This will, as a minimum, be the 1991 regulations.

The council may declare a property to be a HMO where there is significant usage of the property as a HMO.

See more information on Houses in Multiple Occupation

Do I need planning permission to convert my property into a HMO?

You may require planning permission to convert your property to a HMO. Check if you need planning permission or building regulations approval.

What housing standards apply to HMOs?

All HMOs in the borough of Rochdale must adhere to the council's HMO standards. These standards cover things like minimum room sizes, amenity standards and fire safety requirements. Other standards to be met include fire safety and housing health and safety.

Do I need a Fire Risk Assessment for my HMO?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 sets out the type of fire risk assessment you are required to carry out.

What management regulations apply to my HMO?

There are 2 sets of regulations:

What are mandatory licensing conditions?

Mandatory licensing conditions are applied to all HMO licences.

View the HMO mandatory conditions (156kb pdf)

Where do I complain about a HMO?

You can report a problem HMO to us by completing our corporate complaints form. 

Submit a complaint about a HMO

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01706 926223

Phone: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

Private Sector Housing
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU