• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Houses in Multiple Occupation

Page history last edited by Hugh 13 years, 8 months ago

(See also: Conversions - Houses converted to flats or HMOs)


Properties with more than one family in occupation have been a problem in Harringay due to poorly policed planning law and "rogue" landlords creating unfit living conditions. Associated problems for neighbours include anti-social behaviour and badly maintained properties.


Legislative Background




Under the Housing Act 2004, if a landlord lets a property which is one of the following types it is a House in Multiple Occupation:


  1. an entire house or flat which is let to three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.
  2. a house which has been converted entirely into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and which is let to three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities
  3. a converted house which contains one or more flats which are not wholly self contained  (ie the flat does not contain within it a kitchen, bathroom and toilet) and which is occupied by three or more tenants who form two or more households
  4. a building which is converted entirely into self-contained flats if the conversion did not meet the standards of the 1991 Building Regulations and more than one-third of the flats are let on short-term tenancies


In order to be an HMO the property must be used as the tenants' only or main residence and it should be used solely or mainly to house tenants. Properties let to students and migrant workers will be treated as their only or main residence and the same will apply to properties which are used as domestic refuges


(Source: Department of Communities & Local Government website)


HMO Licensing


Since 6 April 2006 certain HMOs have required licences. Under the national mandatory licensing scheme an HMO must be licensed if it is a building consisting of three or more storeys and is occupied by five or more tenants in two or more households.


Local housing authorities have discretionary powers to widen the remit of licensing to also include other smaller HMOs if they think that enough of them in an area are badly managed.


Additional HMO Licensing

LHAs may designate areas, or the whole of the area, within their district, as subject to additional licensing in respect of some or all of the HMOs in its area that are not already subject to mandatory licensing. Those that wish to license such properties will need to follow the approval steps for additional HMO licensing.


Selective Licensing

LHAs may designate areas, or the whole of the area within their district, as subject to selective licensing in respect of privately rented accommodation, provided certain conditions are met.


Certain Condtions apply to Local authorities before they can apply this additional licensing.



Planning Law Implications


With the exception of Definition 1, above, most definitions of an HMO imply physical alterations to the structure of a building and will therefore require planning consent.



So what's the problem?


Very often HMOs create no problems. However, occupants neighbours and neighbourhoods can experience a range of issues from living in or near HMOs, particularly in areas with a high concentration of them.


1. Transience -  Neighbourhoods including a high proportion of a transient population are much less likely to be sustainable since members of transient populations are only briefly committed to the neighbourhood and lack the will to strengthen the area. Rubbish dumping, noise pollution and similar problems can result. It also reduces the pool of residents willing to collaborate to improve the neighbourhood.


2. Problems for occupants - Too often HMOs are run by unscrupulous landlords who provide poor conditions for the occupants. This can bring with it a range of problems fro both occupants and the neighbourhood.



Dealing with the problems








DirectGov page with advice on living in an HMO

Haringey Council page on HMOs

National HMO Lobby

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.