House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO)

The Council Tax (Chargeable Dwellings and Liability for Owners) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2023 (“the Regulations”) which were laid before Parliament on 8 November 2023 and come into force on 1 December 2023.

The Council Tax Regulations will ensure that HMOs will be treated as a single dwelling for the purposes of council tax in England. They will also ensure that Council Tax liability rests with the landlords of HMOs covered by the regulations. 

The regulations adopt broadly the same definition of HMOs as that set out in section 254 of the Housing Act 2004. Schedule 14 of the Housing Act sets out a series of exemptions from the definition of HMOs for licensing and other purposes. The government does not consider that these exemptions are appropriate in the context of Council Tax valuation, and these exemptions have not therefore been carried over into the new regulations.

Self-contained flats which are covered by section 257 of the Housing Act are and therefore subject to HMO licensing are excluded from the scope of these regulations as the government considers that such flats should normally have their own Council Tax band. 

For licensed HMOs, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) intends to proactively re-band HMOs that are currently not aggregated to a single property and therefore currently have multiple Council Tax bands.

If you live in a home with multiple occupants that have separate/individual rental agreements this is known as a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) and as such the Landlord is responsible for payment of the Council Tax. 

A HMO is defined as a property where either 3 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household and you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities. Your home is a large HMO if at least 5 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household and share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities. HMO’s should be licenced with the council to ensure that certain health and safety measures are met. 

Find out more for further information on HMOs.