Houses in multiple occupation

A house in multiple occupancy (HMO) is where:

  • three or more people who do not form a single household live and there are shared facilities such as a bathroom or kitchen
  • Only HMO's which are occupied by five or more people need to be licensed. For more information visit House in multiple occupancy licence

To safeguard the health, safety and well-being of residents within West Suffolk who live in houses in multiple occupation we ensure the application and maintenance of standards in these properties.

Mandatory licensing for houses in multiple occupation

The law relating to shared houses or houses in multiple occupation changed on 1 October 2018. Landlords of most houses in multiple occupation (HMO's) that house five or more people and are not a single household need to have an HMO licence.

A landlord who fails to apply for a licence will be committing a criminal offence.

Summary of changes

  • All HMO's with five or more people living in two or more households, regardless of the number of storey's in the property, will need to be licensed. This includes any flat which contains five or more people living in two or more households where the flat has not been purpose-built to multiple occupant standards. This applies to flats above or below commercial premises.
  • All licensable HMO's will have a national minimum room size for each bedroom.

If you already have a licence from my local council

Properties already licensed with the local council will be transferred into the new mandatory licensing and will not need to take further action.

Applications need to be made before the new rules come in on 1 October 2018. Landlords should start reviewing their properties now in preparation for the changes.

West Suffolk council is putting systems in place to enable formal applications to be made as soon as possible once the Government makes the final orders and publishes its official guidance. Keep a look out for our updates and notifications that applications can be made.