Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
Important changes to the law
A Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO), is defined under sections 254 & 257 of the Housing Act 2004.
Nationally any HMO that is occupied by five or more persons who form two or more separate households, and who share basic amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet, will require a license. (Section 254 of the Housing Act 2004.) New legislation on mandatory HMO licensing (effective from 1 October 2018)
See more information on the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation
If you own or manage an HMO, apply to us for a licence, visit our 'Apply for a HMO' button below .
It is a criminal offence to operate an HMO without a licence, and if convicted you could be liable to an unlimited fine or issued with a civil penalty fine of up to £30,000. In addition, you may have to repay rent to your tenants and the council will reclaim Housing Benefit payments made to unlicensed HMOs.
If you're prosecuted it will probably be difficult for you to get a property licence in the future. If a property should be licensed but isn’t, the landlord cannot serve notice to quit on a tenant until the licence has been obtained.
The council also has powers to take control of a property.
Please note: A HMO licence does not grant planning permission.
For further information visit our planning web page https://www.hounslow.gov.uk/info/20010/planning_and_building