When is an HMO not an HMO or vice versa?

When is an HMO not an HMO or vice versa?

10:55 AM, 6th June 2016, About 7 years ago 3

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I need help please identifying whether a property is an HMO.to be or not to be

4 stories with 4 self contained units each with cooking and bathing facilities. Number of occupiers unclear, but minimum of 4.

However there is also a “communal room” with an en suite shower (i.e. it can only be reached via the communal room).

There is a sofa and chair in the room plus a TV but no kitchen/cooking facilities.

HMO info I’ve seen indicates that if there was no communal room and shower this would not be an HMO. However as the shower is available to occupiers will it be an HMO or will it depend on the local authority and their interpretation of the rules?

In the real world I suspect that the sofa is a sofa bed and this room is either let separately or is available for guests which makes me think it is an HMO, no matter what the owner does to avoid the costs of licencing which would be high as I don’t think it conforms with fire regs for an HMO.

Your views would be much appreciated.



Ian Narbeth

12:17 PM, 6th June 2016, About 7 years ago

Hi Nick
The safe course is to get someone from the Council to inspect it and advise. Nobody on this forum can safely say it is not an HMO on the basis of the information you have provided.

Depending on a number of factors it might not be an HMO and that is the view I would incline to - the communal area is a bit like a downstairs recreation room and toilet in a block of flats which would not make the building an HMO. But, as I say, contact the Council and don't risk not getting licensed if you need to be.

Lenny Felix

12:23 PM, 10th June 2016, About 7 years ago

I agree with Ian that 'The safe course is to get someone from the Council to inspect it and advise'
There may be very good reasons you may not want to discuss with council - therefore in my opinion '4 self contained units' is not an HMO, (be aware of the potential for 4 sets of council tax).


11:26 AM, 11th June 2016, About 7 years ago

How many council tax bills go there? If it's one then it's got to be classed as a HMO, but different councils do different things.

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