What is a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO)?

In England and Wales the Government defines a house in multiple occupation as a property rented out by at least 3 people who are not from 1 ‘household’ (eg a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen.

If you own a ‘large MHO’, you may have to apply for a licence. A large MHO is defined as;

  • it’s rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 household
  • it’s at least 3 storeys high
  • tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities

Even if your Bracknell property is smaller and rented to fewer people, you may still need a licence depending on the area. Check with your council.

A licence is valid for a maximum of 5 years and you must renew it before it runs out.

A council may apply conditions to a licence (such as making improvements) although these conditions are subject to appeal.

You can be fined up to £20,000 if you rent out an unlicenced MHO.

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