Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

HMO landlords' obligations

If you live in a HMO your landlord must make sure that:

  • proper fire safety measures are in place, including working smoke alarms
  • annual gas safety checks are carried out
  • electrics are checked every 5 years
  • the property is not overcrowded 
  • there are enough cooking and bathroom facilities for the number living there
  • communal areas and shared facilities are clean and in good repair
  • there are enough rubbish bins/bags

Your landlord must get a licence from us if the HMO:

  • has 5 or more unrelated people live in it
  • has 2 or more separate households living there

It is an offence for an owner or manager of a HMO to fail to apply for a HMO licence when required, or allow a property to be occupied by more people than are permitted on the licence. A fine of up to £20,000 may be imposed.

Breaking licence conditions can result in a fine of up to £5,000 for each offence.

Owners and managers of HMOs also need to make sure they have planning permission if they:

  • subdivide a house into self-contained units
  • change the use of a house from a single dwelling to a HMO with 7 or more occupiers
  • change the use of a house from a single dwelling into a HMO with up to 6 occupiers in Uxbridge South and Brunel wards  See a map where this applies [1009KB]


Page last updated: 04 Jun 2019