Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

As of 1st October 2018, any landlord that has a HMO must obtain a license from their local housing authority.

Your house is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) if both of the following apply:

  • at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
  • you share a toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants

A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together.

It is a criminal offence under Section 72 Housing Act 2004 if a person having control of or managing a HMO which is required to be licensed, is not so licensed, or if a person is licensed but fails to comply with any condition of the license.

Conviction will result in a criminal record and an unlimited fine. It can also make it difficult for you to continue to act as a landlord in the future and have a negative impact on your business’s reputation.

Different councils apply different rules. Therefore, it is vital that you have a legal team that understands this area of law to make a successful defence against a HMO prosecution.

Any landlord who has had an allegation of breaching the terms of a HMO license can contact our expert team of solicitors for advice on the best course of action for your case. As experienced criminal defence solicitors, we are able to support you through the proceedings and prepare a defence on your behalf.

We provide practical, highly effective legal advice to landlords facing an investigation or prosecution for a Housing Act breach. This may mean making representations on your behalf to avoid prosecution.

If you need any advice on House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) please contact us, and we will respond as soon as possible, or call us on 01923 225212.


Penman Sedgwick Solicitors Watford