Home Forums General Discussion Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s):- Bye Bye Friends Re: Re: Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s):- Bye Bye Friends


I asked for some clarity from Southwark Council and was told the following:

The definition of an HMO is a property that is rented out by at least 3 people who are not from 1 ‘household’ (for example a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen.
This has always been the definition, however, when the requirement to licence HMOs came in with the Housing Act 2004, it was initially only concerned with licensing larger HMOs under the mandatory licensing scheme. This applied to houses where all of the following the following apply:

  • it is rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 household
  • some or all tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities
  • at least 1 tenant pays rent (or their employer pays it for them)

The Act however, also made provisions for two other types of property licensing: additional and selective. Additional licensing covers all HMOs that are not covered by the mandatory scheme and selective licensing applies to any rented property in a designated selective licensing zone. Not every local authority runs additional or selective licensing schemes. In Southwark, we have had both selective and additional licensing schemes since January 1st 2016.

In answer to you question, yes a couple with a single sharer would require an additional HMO licence; and this has been the case since 1st January 2016.

The terms ‘Mandatory’, ‘Additional’ and ‘Selective’ are prescribed by the Housing Act 2004, and we are unable to change them.