House in multiple occupation (HMO) definition

What is a house in multiple occupation (HMO)?

The Housing Act 2004 introduced a new definition of a house in multiple occupation. The new definition is detailed and complex.

Generally a house in multiple occupation will be a property occupied by more than one household and more than two people, and may include bedsits, shared houses and some self contained flats.

Houses fully converted into self contained flats will generally not be HMOs provided that they were/are converted in accordance with the appropriate building regulation standards. This will, as a minimum be the 1991 regulations.

The council may declare a property to be a HMO where there is significant usage of the property as a HMO.

Do I need planning permission to convert my property into a HMO?

You may require planning permission to convert your property to a HMO. See our planning pages for more information. 

What housing standards apply to HMOs?

All HMOs in Salford must adhere to the council's HMO standards. These standards cover things like minimum room sizes, amenity standards and fire safety requirements.

Below, you can download a copy of Salford’s HMO standards along with a copy of the Lacors fire safety guidance document.

Do I need a Fire Risk Assessment for my HMO?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 sets out whether you are required to carry out a fire risk assessment.

Does my HMO need a licence?

If your HMO is: three or more storeys with; five or more people who form two or more households, you will need a Mandatory HMO Licence.

When a licence is granted, a number of licence conditions must be adhered to. These can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.

Alternatively, if your HMO falls in a Selective Licensing area.

What management regulations apply to my HMO?

There are two sets of regulations:

This legislation places certain duties on the individuals managing the property and no compliance with these regulations may result in a prosecution and/or fine (including a civil penalty).

Who pays the council tax on a HMO?

Please check with the council tax team.

Can I get advice on converting a property into a HMO?

From 17 July 2017, the council will introduce a charge for providing HMO advice.

The charge will be £880 per HMO up to 12 bedrooms (for 13 or more bedrooms a further charge of £35 per additional bedroom will be applied). You will receive three site visits to the HMO, detailed written advice including compliance with space standards, amenity standards, fire safety provisions, landlord licensing requirements and compliance with HHSRS and overcrowding. Should the property be subject to Mandatory HMO Licensing, and on condition that a licence application is submitted within two months of advice being issued, the licence fee will be reduced by £337.

Should you wish to take up this service you must supply us with the following information:

  • Full address of the property
  • Floor plans showing the property layout, intended use for each room and the size of each room in metres squared
  • Details of how you intend to let the property, eg – house share where all tenants are on one tenancy agreement or separate tenancy agreements for each room you let out

You can email this information to us at: teamhmo_@salford.gov.uk.

Where do I complain about a HMO?

You can report a problem HMO to us by completing the online form on our complain about a rented property page.

This page was last updated on 27 November 2017

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