Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) can offer good quality affordable accommodation to people who cannot afford to buy their own homes and are not eligible for council housing.

HMO licensing and planning permission

Some houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) will require planning permission and/or a property licence. This will depend on their size and the number of people that live there.

HMOs are defined differently between housing and planning regulations, so you need to make sure you understand these differences.

Article 4 and HMOs

Article 4 removes permitted development rights in relation to conversions to houses in multiple occupation. The council do not currently operate an Article 4 in the borough.

Check our planning and building control area for updates

Planning permission for HMOs

Planning regulations classify HMOs as either being small or large depending on the number of occupants:

  • Small HMOs (Class C4) - properties housing between three and six unrelated people who share amenities
  • Large HMOs (Class sui generis) - seven or more people sharing.

If you are going to rent your HMO to seven or more people, you will need to get planning permission for change of use.

Find out more on the Planning Portal website about use classes and change of use.