Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
Properties containing two or more households
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What is a 'House in Multiple Occupation'?
A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is generally any property, house or flat, where there are two or more separate households sharing one or more basic amenity (such as a toilet, bathroom, or kitchen) and where there is rent or some other form of payment made by at least one person.
- poor or inadequate kitchen facilities
- poor or inadequate bathrooms
- no or inadequate fire detection
- inadequate fire separation
- blocked or unsafe escape routes
Landlords need to be aware their responsibilities and the 29 hazard types under the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) are the same as for other rented properties but that as a HMO their property must meet a higher standard in some areas, such as fire detection. Part of this higher standard is through greater management and the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupancy (England) Regulations 2006 state the regulations that apply to most HMOs.
In the worst cases the Council can 'close' a HMO but we always endeavour to work with landlords to sort out any problems rather than see people lose their homes. Download our HMO Information Pack and our Amenity and Space Standard Guide for further information.
A landlord of a HMO must have a fire risk assessment for their property. For more information and guidance on how to carry out a fire risk assessment visit Hampshire Fire & Rescue - Business Fire Safety
We work closely with Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service using the national guidance document from Lacors as the minimum standard that will be accepted.
The legislation for Mandatory Licensing is being changed. The changes mean that Mandatory Licensing will no longer apply to just large HMO's, but any HMO where there are five or more occupants will be required to be licensed.
The change will come into effect and be enforced from 1 October 2018. Applications can be submitted to us from 3 April 2018. Any HMO found to require a licence but to have not submitted an application form after the 1 October 2018 will be open to enforcement action.
Planning permission may also be required for a property to be used as an HMO and owners should contact us using the form below to check.
What to do if your property is in a state of disrepair