Houses in multiple occupation


A property is a house in multiple occupation (HMO) if both of the following apply:

  • at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
  • you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants

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 – including people in same-sex relationships
  • relatives or half-relatives – for example, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings
  • step-parents and step-children

Planning permission is needed for larger houses in multiple occupation. Landlords of a large HMO must meet certain standards and obligations.

Landlords need a licence for certain types of HMO – download our guide for landlords below.

You can find out more about HMOs from Shelter: houses in multiple occupation.

Report a house in multiple occupation

If you live in or near a property you think is being used as a HMO, and you're not sure whether we know about it, you can report it to us using the form below.

Report a House in Multiple Occupation