Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
What is an HMO?
Under the Housing Act 2004 an HMO is:
- an entire house or flat occupied by three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
- a house that has been converted into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and occupied by three or more tenants, forming two or more households and sharing a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
- a converted house which contains one or more flats which are not wholly self-contained and which is occupied by three or more tenants occupying two or more households
- a building converted entirely into self-contained flats where less than two thirds are in owner occupation and where the conversion did not comply with the 1991 Building Regulations
- HMO Legislation (external link).
If an HMO is not licensed when it should be, the person having control of or managing the HMO commits a criminal offence punishable by an unlimited fine (previously £20,000)
Public Notice in Respect of The Introduction of an Additional Licensing Scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation in the County Borough Of Wrexham
The Housing Act 2004 provides for the mandatory licensing of certain HMOs.
Generally an HMO will need a mandatory licence if it is:
- Shared by five or more people and
- Has three or more storeys (including basements, attics and commercial units
The Wrexham County Borough Council Additional Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation Scheme 2016 started on the 1 November 2016.
The scheme covers all HMOs except those subject to Mandatory Licensing or exempt under the relevant sections of the Housing Act 2004.
The Wrexham County Borough Council Additional Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation Scheme 2011 came to an end on 31 October 2016. Licenses issued under this scheme remain valid, unless revoked, until the expiry date on the licence. Prior to the expiry of a licence it will be necessary to apply for a licence under the 2016 Scheme.
Applying for a Licence
- Planning permission is requiredLicence Application Fees
- Pay for the licence online
- EU Services Directive - House in multiple occupation (HMO) licence
- Apply for a house in multiple occupation licence (external link to www.gov.uk)
For copies contact Housing Standards.
- Category A1 - Bedsits - PDF version 120Kb
- Category A2 - Bedsit-type HMO (Kitchen and bathroom facilities shared) - PDF version 123Kb
- Category B - Shared House - PDF version 117Kb
- Category F - Section 257 Flats - PDF version 113Kb
- General Notes to Accompany the Prescribed Standards - PDF version 141Kb
The prescribed standards are in addition to the requirements under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
Some types of buildings are exempt from licensing, these include:
- properties managed or owned by a public body (such as the police or the NHS), a local authority or a Registered Social Landlord
- buildings entirely occupied by freeholders or long leaseholders.
- A licence states the maximum number of persons and households who may occupy the HMO.
Allowing a HMO to be occupied by more households or persons than permitted under the licence is a criminal offence punishable by an unlimited fine (previously £20,000)
- Mandatory conditions require the licence holder:
- a. to produce to the authority a gas safety certificate of the annual inspection required under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998;
- b. to keep electrical appliances and furniture provided by him in a safe condition and to supply the authority, on demand, with a declaration by him as to their safety;
- c. to install smoke alarms and keep them in proper working order and to supply the authority, on demand, with a declaration as to their safety; and
- d. to supply the occupiers with a written statement of the terms under which they occupy.
- In addition, the Council includes other conditions which they consider appropriate for regulation of the management, use and occupation of the HMO and its condition and contents.
- Each licence contains conditions, specific to a particular HMO that may require additional work and/or restrict the use of part of the property, in addition to the standard conditions that must be complied with at all times (or within the timescale indicated).
Each breach of a licence condition is an offence that is punishable by an unlimited fine (previously £20,000)
- For all HMOs other than converted blocks of flats, the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 (external link) apply.
- For converted blocks of flats, Section 257 HMOs the Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (Wales) Regulations 2007 (external link) apply.
- Under the regulations, duties are also imposed on the tenants.
Each breach of a regulation is an offence that is punishable by an unlimited fine (previously £20,000)
- In HMOs that require a licence the number of persons and household permitted forms part of the licence conditions, and any restrictions on the use of rooms are also included.
- In HMOs that are exempt from licensing the number of persons and households can still be restricted, as can the use of rooms, by way of service of an Overcrowding Notice.