What is a House in Multiple Occupancy?’
A House in Multiple Occupancy is often known or referred to as an ‘HMO’. The definitions of what a House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) is can get quite complex. Without outlining all the different definitions here, in very basic terms it is a property rented out by at least 3 people who are not from 1 ‘household’ (eg a family) but share facilities like the bathroom, toilet, kitchen etc. It’s sometimes called a ‘house share’ and so many student properties would fall within this definition.
So why might this be relevant or useful to know?
If your property is an HMO there are specific duties that fall on the manager of the HMO in terms or repair, maintenance, safety and security of the property, to ensure certain minimum standards are provided and these include :
- Water supply and drainage
The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupations (England) Regulations 2006 cover all these requirements. Citizens Advice has more information on Houses in Multiple Occupancy and additionally from the GOV.UK website. Newcastle City Council have a Multiple Occupancy team who can ensure compliance with these requirements is carried out and support tenants who believe this is not the case.
Licenced House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) section
If you are renting a larger property, your landlord might be required to obtain a licence. A large HMO will require a licence if it’s rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 household and you share facilities.
As well as the regulations that apply to all HMO's, an even higher set of standards are required for these properties. Failure to have a licence or to comply with any of the regulations and standards can lead to penalties against the Landlord/Manager. Your local council will have the standards published so contact them for more information. If you have any concerns about whether your HMO/Licenced HMO is meeting the required standards contact the Student Advice Centre or your local council to discuss this further.