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Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

What is a House of Multiple Occupation?

The Housing Act 2004 defines a property as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) if:

  • at least three tenants who form more than one household live there
  • the toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities are shared with other occupants
  • at least one of the occupants pays rent (or the accommodation is linked to their employment)
  • it is the occupants’ main residence
  • it is not an exempt property

A household is either a single person, or members of the same family, who live together.

A family includes people who are:

  • married or living together as a couple
  • Close relatives, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings
  • step-parents and step-children

We are responsible for enforcing standards for accommodation in Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) within Horsham District.

All accommodation is required by law to be safe, and to comply with requirements laid out by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.

Landlords and occupiers of HMOs must also comply with duties laid on them by a number of standards. Properties must be suitable for the number of occupiers, in good repair, safe and well managed. They must not be over occupied.

Some, but not all HMOs, must also be licensed.