Housing standards for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

HMO housing standards

The Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) standards are intended to offer guidance to landlords on the physical standards that are required for HMO within the borough. This includes minimum room sizes, bathroom and kitchen facilities and fire safety provision.

Where works are required to ensure that an HMO meets the standards, the landlord should, in the first instance, discuss this with us. This is to help ensure any work carried out meets the required standards.

Landlords should also satisfy themselves that any proposed works do not require planning permission or building control approval.

Application of standards

These minimum standards are relevant only to the licensing of an HMO, however, on any subsequent inspection, a risk assessment may determine that it is necessary to take other additional measures to ensure that the housing standards are satisfactory for each individual unit of living accommodation.

Access to all facilities is to be available at all times.

Definition of an HMO

Under the new Housing Act 2004, a HMO is now a ‘building or part of a building which is occupied by persons who do not form a single household’ which has been converted.

See more detailed information on HMO definition

Mandatory HMO licensing

Not all HMOs will require a licence.

A HMO will be subject to Mandatory HMO Licensing if it contains 5 or more occupants comprising 2 or more households.

Smaller HMOs may require a licence if the borough council seek to designate an area as a Selective Licensing area. In these circumstances any privately rented property within the designated area will require a licence.