AM I A HMO? (House in Multiple Occupation)

If you have 3 and/or 4 people (that are NOT related to each other) and they share the same amenities (i.e. Kitchen) then you ARE A HMO.

Irrespective of whether they are on a joint (shared) tenancy agreement or individual single tenancy agreement, and (as of Oct 2018) irrespective of how many floors you have in your property.


Under the Housing Act 2004, if you let a property which is one of the following types, it is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO):

  • An entire house or flat which is let to 3 or more tenants who form 2 or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.


A licensed HMO –This is where 5 or more (unrelated people), share amenities in one property. A licensed HMO needs to be registered with the council, and you will need to pay a licensing fee. 

An Unlicensed HMO – This is where 3 and/or 4 (unrelated people), share amenities in one property. You will not have to pay a licensing fee.

Whether you have a licensed or unlicensed HMO the regulations regarding the management of HMO’s & the housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) imposes duties on managing agents/landlords to ensure safety standards are conformed to and appropriate management, maintenance and fire precautions are met. It is an offence not to comply with these regulations.

Coventry City Council enforcement team are currently targeting HMO’s.  Irrespective of whether you are a licensed or un-licensed (3 to 4 unrelated people), the same ‘Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006’ as well as the 29 categories within the HHSRS scheme, apply.

The rules can be complicated and because all HMO’s are set up differently, no one rule applies to all. Responsibility of ensuring safety of tenants rests with the ‘person responsible’ for the premises. 

If you manage an unlicensed HMO (3-4 people unrelated) or Licensed (5 or more people unrelated), you have a duty of care as a responsible person to asses, control & manage the property.

You must assess the risks – identify the hazards and the people who are placed at risk by them and remove or reduce the hazard and risks so far as they reasonably can and then put in place fire precautions to protect people from the risks that remain.

Regulation 10 of the HMO Management regulation’s imposes a duty on to ‘a responsible person’ to ensure that all means of escape are maintained in good order, and that ‘responsible person’ to carry out a risk assessment in a HMO, to safeguard against fatal events occurring.

Are you the responsible person? If so, are you deemed competent to carry out risk assessments that may endanger the lives of others?


Our mission is to work with you, (as a letting agent or landlord) to become a fully compliant HMO thus raising the safety standards for all HMO’s, whether that’s a current Un-licensed HMO, licensed HMO or new development.


Get Certified – Book your confidential HMO assessment TODAY for only £249 (for limited time only)


We offer professional and fully confidential advice, so talk to us before the authorities have you on their radar.  Together with our team of experts and knowledge of HMO’s ,Fire Safety protection and building regulations compliance, we are your local one stop HMO compliance team providing No1 advice and solutions for your property, with over 25 years of experience in the respective industries.  We work together to improve living standards for all.


Your builder/architect/designer may not have the attributes to carry out a full risk assessment for your HMO, and almost certainly will not hold any liability for their advice.  We offer a full HMO compliance assessment which includes a Fire Risk Assessment, carried out by member’s of the Institute of Fire Safety Managers (UK), which adheres to all current local and national HMO rules and regulations, avoiding confusion and costly mistakes.