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I have just been told that I may have to apply for a HMO.

Recently I have purchased a 5 bedroom house and I am looking to rent it to 7 tenants. Currently the plan is to have one contract for multiple occupancy. Would this make me eligible for a HMO? I am really confused about this topic as I am not sure as to what alterations I would have to do to the house to qualify. If there is anyone out there who can help I would be very grateful

Many Thanks


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If you have more than two unrelated people in a property, you have to get an HMO licence. For instance, you could have a married couple with a kid living with a stranger, this would technically not need a HMO. Two brothers and a friend wouldn't need one either. But three friends or three unrelated students then you would. So 7 students unless related, then you need one.

Best ring the council for clarity because i think if you have over a certain amount of unrelated people sharing (i think it's five), then you have to have a basin or sink in every shared room ie lounge, common room etc.

Best of luck!

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I take it you mean a mandatory HMO licence?

Mandatory licensing applies to properties that are three storey in height, two or more households, 5 or more persons and there is some sharing of the amenities.

It makes no different as to what agreement you get them to sign.

Storeys can include basements, mezzanine floors and attic rooms.

A household is basically a family and relatives although there are exceptions, unfortunately students sharing dont come under the exemption.

Sharing of an amenity can be kitchen, bathroom, WC, etc.

Reg, if the property is let to two people and they are unrelated it will not be classed as a HMO (excluding Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004) Housing Act 2004, schedule 14(7).

The HMO licence allows councils to set conditions and timescales to get work and the prescribed standards done. Statutory Instrument 373 (link below) listes the prescribed standards in schedlue 3.


Wash hand basins are a sore point with many local authorities, many of whom have set this 'regulation' with a longer timescale than many of the other prescribed standards.

The HMO definition and the Housing Act is both detailed and complex, do NOT carry out any work until you have spoken to them Martin and get exactly what is required in writing before you proceed.

There are official sites which you can view the Housing Act 2004 and all the Statutory Instruments.

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