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.

From the 17 March 2023 Lambeth will be moving to the Metastreet system for managing HMO licences. 

Find out more about the transition

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a house or flat where both of the following apply:

  • At least three tenants live there, forming more than one household.
  • The occupants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants.

A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together.

An HMO could be a:

  • house split into separate bedsits
  • shared house or flat, where the sharers are not members of the same family
  • hostel
  • bed-and-breakfast hotel that is not just for holidays
  • shared accommodation for students – although many halls of residence and other types of student accommodation owned by educational establishments are not classed as HMOs.

For a legal definition of an HMO, visit the National HMO Network website.