Houses in multiple occupation - advice for landlords

There are approximately 2000 converted residential properties which contain multiple flats or bedsits, known as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

We can provide landlords with advice and information about their legal obligations with specific reference to HMOs. We also inspect and licence HMOs. We can also advise landlords and agents about suitable fire precautions, management and maintenance issues. If you are a landlord, feel free to contact us.


HMO owners, landlords or their agents are generally responsible for the provision and maintenance of fire precautions, such as fire detection systems; emergency lighting; maintenance and management of the building as a whole and communal areas; internal maintenance of rented flats or bedsits; and the provision of amenities.

HMO tenants are generally responsible for internal decorations within their flat or bedsit; and for their own appliances or fixtures they themselves have provided; and occupying the property in a "tenant-like" manner, i.e. taking reasonable steps to avoid damaging fixtures and fittings and keeping their accommodation in a reasonable condition.

Creating an HMO may require planning permission and/or building control approval. It will then be subject to the local authority's adopted standards and licence scheme for HMOs.

Further information