Do I need a HMO licence?

Since October 2018 the requirement regarding a mandatory HMO licence being a requirement was changed to include all houses with 5 or more occupants. Prior to this date the HMO property had to have 3 or more storeys.

To identify if your property is an HMO and you may require a licence you will need to consider the following:

  • an entire house or flat which is let to three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
  • a house which has been converted entirely into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and which is let to three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities
  • a converted house which contains one or more flats which are not wholly self contained (the flat does not contain within it a kitchen, bathroom and toilet) and which is occupied by three or more tenants who form two or more households

Once it has been established that the premises falls within one of the above definitions, the following test must be applied:

  • five or more persons live at the property (including children)
  • there are two or more households (a household is defined as a group of persons that are related)
  • there is some sharing of amenities (for example, people from more than one household are sharing a kitchen, bathroom or toilet)

Properties exempt from HMO Licensing

Certain types of property are not classed as HMOs and as such, are not subject to licensing. These include:

  • two person flat share; a property, or part of a property, lived in by no more than two households each of which consist of just one person
  • a property where the landlord and his household is resident with up to two tenants
  • buildings managed or owned by a public body (such as the police or the NHS) or a Local Housing Authority or a Registered Social Landlord
  • where the residential accommodation is ancillary to the principal use of the building, for example, religious establishments, conference centres
  • student halls of residence, where the education establishment has signed up to an Approved Code of Practice
  • buildings regulated otherwise than under the Act, such as care homes, bail hostels
  • buildings entirely occupied by freeholders or long leaseholders

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