HMO – Do I need to register?

HMO – Do I need to register?

11:50 AM, 6th December 2018, About 4 years ago 7

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Am I required to register as an HMO?

I own two flats on the first and second floor of a building. My wife owns the ground floor flat and we live in that flat. The first floor flat is occupied by a couple with a single child, the 2nd floor flat is occupied by a single person.

Grateful for any advice on this subject.

Thank you.


Editors Note:

An extension of the rules bringing a wider range of houses in multiple occupation (HMO) into the mandatory licensing regime came into effect on 1 October this year.

This licensing requirement applies to all properties that meet the following criteria:

is occupied by five or more persons
is occupied by persons living in two or more separate households

And meets:
the standard test under section 254(2) of the Act
the self-contained flat test under section 254(3) of the Act but is not a purpose-built flat situated in a block comprising three or more self-contained flats, or
the converted building test under section 254(4) of the Act.

Properties that fall into scope of the new definition but are already licensed under a selective or additional scheme, will be passported over to the new scheme at no cost to the landlord.


Mike P

10:12 AM, 7th December 2018, About 4 years ago

Thanks Editor for the references to the acts. What is puzzling me is how one defines the term "property". If it means the whole building, then because of "is occupied by five or more persons/
is occupied by persons living in two or more separate households" then it might be termed an HMO. But if the word property only relates to the rented area then it's not an HMO.

Robert White

11:15 AM, 7th December 2018, About 4 years ago

Please contact your local council as each council are operating differently with different requirements.

For example, Camden has its own minimum bedroom size that they will allow where as the standard specified at some landlord shows are slightly different which is why they say to check with your local authority first.

Some boroughs does not require you to license the property for certain HMO so you need to check with the borough and the local authority that your property is in.

Good luck!

James Barnes

11:32 AM, 7th December 2018, About 4 years ago

I think your trying to ask two questions here, those are:
1. Is my property a HMO?
2. Do I need to apply for a HMO licence?

Given the description you've given of the property (all 3 flats) I don't believe it to be a HMO. This assumes all 3 flats are self-contained and purposes built, not converted. In some circumstances a block of flats may be termed a S.257 HMO and licencing may be required, but this only applies when less than two thirds of those flats are owner-occupied. In this instance, exactly one third of those flats is owner-occupied (the one your wife owns and you both live in), not less.

To answer the second question, no you do not need to apply for a HMO licence, because the property is not a HMO.

Of course there are others that may interpret this differently, and if in doubt ask the licencing authority. It's always better to come ask than have them find you.

Jay James

16:58 PM, 7th December 2018, About 4 years ago

I have read as far as question 2 in James Barnes' comment. When it comes to HMOs, these are the two best questions to start with. This will avoid a lot of confusion indeciding how to handle licencing.

Charlotte Walker

8:35 AM, 8th December 2018, About 4 years ago

Sounds like a 257 HMO to me (older conversion), it does not require licensing. 257s are only called HMOs because they didn't know where else to put them. If either of the rental flats has more than 5 (non family) occupants they can still be licensable individually.

Michael Barnes

1:20 AM, 9th December 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Charlotte Walker at 08/12/2018 - 08:35
Isn't it "5 or more"?

Judith Wordsworth

18:49 PM, 10th December 2018, About 4 years ago

The flat you are renting out is not an HMO.
Obviously you are not renting your flat to yourself but even then it is not an HMO.
Each flat is a "property". It is not the building even if you are the Freeholder. You are the Lessee of each individual flat

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