Does my Property need an HMO Licence?

5 or more Occupants 

If there are five or more people living in your property and just one of those people is not related* to the others then YES YOU DO! 

So, wherever your property is in England, if you have five or more people (one or more of whom is not related) then you NEED a Mandatory HMO LICENCE).

You also are required under the Housing Act 2004 to comply fully with the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations (2006). 

(*This is not the legal definition by the way – because like most legislation that’s not easy to understand.  Hopefully, this is in plain English that makes sense.)

3 or 4 Occupants 

If you have three or four occupants where one (or more) is not related, then your property is legally an HMO.

With three or four people,  your property does not need a Mandatory HMO Licence.

However,  IT MAY STILL NEED A LICENCE.

Many Councils have introduced what is called an “Additional HMO Licensing” scheme.  These schemes vary from Council to Council and even between different streets in a Council’s area. 

So, even if your property has three or four occupants you MUST CHECK to find out if it needs an “ADDITIONAL HMO LICENCE”.

You also are required under the Housing Act 2004 to comply fully with the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations (2006). 

1 to 4 Occupants

AND… just in case that’s not enough – in some areas, a property let to one to four occupants may not need any form of HMO Licence, but it MAY still need A SELECTIVE LICENCE.

A Selective Licence applies to every rental property (that is not a licensable HMO) in specific areas defined by the local Council.

Not all Councils operate Selective Licensing areas – yet.  But the number of Councils doing so is increasing.

If your property is legally an HMO then, regardless of whether it needs any sort of licence, it is a criminal offence if you do not fully comply with the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations (2006). 

Just to be clear: These Regulations kick-in at three occupants where one or more is not related.

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