England Landlord Guidance

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2.10.1 Definition Of An HMO

An HMO is defined in sections 254-259 of the Housing Act 2004. In simple terms, an HMO is a building, or part of a building, such as a flat, that:

  • is occupied by more than one household and where the occupants share, lack, or must leave their front door to use an amenity such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities
  • is occupied by more than one household in a converted building where not all the flats are self-contained. ‘Self-contained’ means that all amenities such as kitchen, bathroom and WC are behind the entrance door to the flat
  • is a converted block of self-contained flats, but does not meet the requirements of the Building Regulations 1991, and less than two thirds of flats are owner-occupied.

The households must occupy the building as their only or main residence (remembering that tenants can have more than one main residence) and rent must be payable in respect of at least one of the household’s occupation of the property.