Houses in Multiple Occupationand the Housing Act 2004

Commencement and Scope:

The majority of the provisions of the Act concerning HMOs came into force on 6th April 2006.

The Housing Act 2004 replaced the Housing (Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation) Regulations 1990 and introduced licensing for HMOs as well as a definition of an HMO and standards of management to be met for this type of property. Since April 2006 HMOs must be licensed where they comprise of 3 or more storeys, are occupied by 5 or more people living in two or more single households and the occupiers share basic amenities such as cooking and washing facilities (The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Descriptions) (England) Order 2006). On 1st October 2018 the 2006 Order has been replaced by The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Descriptions) (England) Order 2018 and the ‘3 or more storeys’ requirement of the regulations has been removed to bring smaller HMOs within the licensing scheme. Landlords will need to ensure all properties which fall under the requirements have a licence from 1st October 2018.


For the purposes of the Housing Act 2004 a building or a part of a building is a “house in multiple occupation” if it satisfies one of the following:-

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