Houses In Multiple Occupation - HMOs

What is a HMO? An HMO is a building or part of a building occupied as a main residence by more than one household.

A household can be one person or several people provided that they are related to each other, including cousins, grandparents and stepchildren as well as partners living together.

An HMO can therefore include buildings converted solely into self-contained flats ('Section 257 HMOs'), as well as buildings containing bedsits and/or non-self contained flats, shared houses and hostels ('Section 254 HMOs').

The parts of the Act relevant to HMOs include Sections 254 to 264 and Schedule 14. The full text of the Act can be found hereOpens new window.

Section 257 HMO

Section 257 of the Act relates to a "converted block of flats" which is a building (or part of a building) which has been converted into, and consists of, self-contained flats. Buildings of this description are HMOs if;

  • the conversion work was not done in accordance with 'appropriate building standards' and
  • less than two-thirds of the self-contained flats are owner-occupied

'Appropriate building standards' usually means the 1991 Building Regulations or whichever later Building Regulations applied at the time the work was done.

The legislation which covers houses converted solely into self contained flats ('Section 257 HMOs') and can be found at Section 257 HMOs


Yes. Buildings not regarded as HMOs include:

  • Buildings controlled or managed by public sector bodies eg Registered Social Landlords, Police Authorities etc*
  • Buildings regulated by other legislation eg care homes, detention centres etc*
  • Buildings controlled or managed by an educational establishment (specified by type or otherwise) and occupied by the establishment's students*
  • Buildings occupied by religious communities whose principal occupation is prayer, contemplation, education or the relief of suffering*
  • Buildings occupied by the owner and members of his household, provided there are no more than two other persons (eg lodgers)*
  • Buildings occupied only by two persons who form two households*

* Other housing standards will apply to some or all of these properties.  Find out more about HHSRS from DASH


HMO Management

There are Management Regulations relating to Section 254 and Section 257 HMOs respectively.  Both sets of regulations place duties on the manager of an HMO. 

The 'manager' includes the owner or lessee of a premises who receives (whether directly or through an agent or trustee) rents or other payments from occupiers.  Where those rents or other payments are received through another person such as an agent or trustee, that other person is also a manager.

The Regulations also impose duties on the occupiers of an HMO to ensure that the manager can comply with the Regulations. For example, occupiers are under a duty to comply with reasonable instructions about fire safety etc.

Planning Permission

An Article 4 Direction, which came into effect from 11 March 2012, means that it is necessary to obtain planning permission to convert a family dwelling (Use Class C3) to a HMO with between 3 and 6 unrelated people sharing (Use Class C4) anywhere within the Nottingham City Council area. Planning permission is already required for properties shared by 7 or more unrelated people.

Safety and Security of Property

It is recommended that those with responsibility for improving and maintaining privately rented properties work towards improving the safety and security of their property by complying with the Security and Standards of HMO and Rented Properties guide issued jointly by Nottinghamshire Police and Nottingham City Council. 

Further Information




Contact Us

Environmental Health Loxley House Station Street Nottingham NG2 3NG Email:
Tel: 0115 915 2020

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