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HMO  stands for House in Multiple Occupation and essentially means a house that is occupied by more than one household.  Properties occupied in this way have dedicated legislation and control due to the increased risk to the health and safety of the occupants.

Section 254 of the Housing Act 2004 defines the meaning of an HMO.

A building or a part of a building is an HMO if:

  • It meets the standard test;
  • It meets the self-contained flat test;
  • It meets the converted building test;
  • An HMO declaration is in force; or
  • It is a relevant block of flats converted prior to June 1992.

It meets the conditions of the standard test if:

  1. It consists of one or more units of living accommodation not consisting of a self-contained flat or flats;
  2. The living accommodation is occupied by persons who do not form a single household;
  3. The living accommodation is occupied by those persons as their only or main residence or they are to be treated as so occupying it;
  4. Their occupation of the living accommodation constitutes the only use of that accommodation;
  5. Rents are payable or other consideration is to be provided in respect of at least one of those persons' occupation of the living accommodation; and
  6. Two or more of the households who occupy the living accommodation share one or more basic amenities or the living accommodation is lacking in one or more basic amenities.

It meets the conditions of the self-contained flat test if:

  1. It consists of a self-contained flat and (b) to (f) above apply.

It meets the conditions of the converted building test if:

  1. It is a converted building;
  2. It contains one or more units of living accommodation that do not consist of a self-contained flat or flats (whether or not it also contains any such flat or flats);
  3. The living accommodation is occupied by persons who do not form a single household;
  4. The living accommodation is occupied by those persons as their only or main residence or they are to be treated as so occupying it;
  5. Their occupation of the living accommodation constitutes the only use of that accommodation; and
  6. Rents are payable or other consideration is to be provided in respect of at least one of those persons' occupation of the living accommodation. 

Certain buildings cannot be defined as HMO’s, irrespective of whether they meet the definitions above. Exempt buildings are:

  • Buildings managed by the local housing authority (LHA ’s), Registered Social Landlords (RSL ’s), local police, fire or health authority,
  • Buildings occupied by students and managed by an educational establishment in question, on condition that the body has in place an Approved Code of Practice for management of residential accommodation;
  • Buildings occupied by religious communities;
  • Buildings predominantly owner-occupied, including resident landlords where the owner-occupier (and members of their family) occupies the dwelling with no more than 2 other persons;
  • Buildings occupied by only 2 persons who do not form a single household;
  • Children’s homes;
  • Residential nursing/care homes;
  • Residential family centres;
  • Boarding schools and colleges, and;
  • Approved bail hostels, probation hostels, prisons and remand centres.

The Council may make an HMO declaration by service of notice where satisfied that the standard, self-contained flat or converted building test has been met.

It is a relevant block of flats where; the building has been converted into and consists of self-contained flats, the work does not comply with the Building Regulations 1991 and less than two thirds of the flats are owner-occupied.

 

 

Contact Us

Private Sector Housing Team
Gateshead Council
Civic Centre
Regent Street
Gateshead
NE8 1HH
Tel: 0191 433 3000

E-mail: privatesectorhousingcivic@gateshead.gov.uk