New HMO Licensing Rules: is Your Multiple Occupancy Property Compliant?

young people sitting in a lounge chatting

House shares are an important and growing sector of the property industry, providing long and short term accommodation to professionals, friends or families. Most house shares are known as ‘house in multiple occupation’, or HMO — but what does this mean, exactly? Generally, an HMO is a property rented by at least three people who are not related from one household, who share communal facilities like a bathroom and kitchen. Many landlords rent their properties as HMOs without even realising it, but since a new reform came into effect on 1st October 2018 most HMOs in England and Wales now require a license, not just large properties. Previously, only properties of three floors or more were covered by the HMO license — the new rules mean that properties of any height where there are five or more sharers in two or more households require a license.