Houses in multiple occupation

A property let to 3 or more unrelated people is a house in multiple occupation (HMO). HMO's can include -

  • cohesive groups, formerly known as shared houses
  • non-cohesive groups, formerly known as bedsits
  • certain self-contained flats


Houses occupied on a shared basis. These would normally be occupied by members of a defined social group. For example, students or a group of young single adults.

The occupiers each enjoy exclusive use of a bedroom, but would share other facilities. This includes a communal living space.


Houses occupied as individual rooms where there is some exclusive occupation. This is usually a bedroom or living room. There can be some sharing of amenities like a bathroom, toilet, or kitchen. Each occupant lives otherwise independently of all others.

If you use a building as an HMO, you may need planning permission.

Certain works also need building regulations approval.

Fire Safety

The LACORS fire safety guidance details fire precautions. They are required in HMOs and single occupancy dwellings.

HMO Licensing Advice

If you need more advice about HMO licensing, contact us by completing our online form. 

Request advice about HMO licensing