A House in Multiple Occupation (or HMO) is a property that is shared by three or more tenants who are not living together as a family, and who share basic amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities but have separate bedrooms.

In order to be an HMO, the property must be used as the tenants' main residence. Properties let to students and migrant workers will be treated as their main residence and the same will apply to properties which are used as domestic refuges.

Coronavirus update

In addition to the latest Government Guidance on COVID-19, specialist advice for landlords and tenants can be found here: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Landlords and Tenants. This includes guidance on rent, mortgage payments and possession proceedings during the Coronavirus outbreak as well as property access and ongoing health & safety obligations.

Houses in multiple occupation present additional challenges at this time for tenants living in accommodation that they share with others. With this in mind, DASH Services have produced some useful information for landlords of HMOs, including information that can be sent out to tenants to guide them on what to do if they, or other occupiers, have possible COVID-19 symptoms.

Finally, the Bridge Tenancy Relations Service provide independent specialist advice, assistance and advocacy to landlords on all housing and homelessness related matters.

HMO planning permission

If the property is in Loughborough and has three or more unrelated tenants then planning permission is required for it to operate as a HMO rather than as family accommodation.

A HMO with more than six unrelated people sharing is deemed a 'larger' HMO and will always require planning permission, whether in Loughborough or elsewhere.

Larger HMOs will also require a mandatory licence from Charnwood Borough Council. Please see our separate Licensable HMO page for further details.

How to report a problem

If you live in a shared house, or if there is a shared house near you and you are concerned about living conditions, disrepair, gardens that are not sufficiently maintained or refuse accumulations, we can investigate and work to improve things.

For more information, or to report a concern, contact the Private Sector Housing Team on 01509 634651 or email 

Last updated: Tue 22nd September, 2020 @ 13:16