Renting out a property

Houses in Multiple Occupation – HMO

A month or so back, I was talking to a friend from Portsmouth. She’d said she was worried that she might struggle to sell her house because of “HMO” regulations. She explained that buyers in her area are often only interested in renting the houses out to students which generally fall into the HMO category but as there was already a high number of other HMO’s in her street, she didn’t think she’d (or rather, a future buyer) would be able to get an HMO license. I think the gist is to stop entire areas becoming too studentified (a new word – I think it works).

So I’ve been investigating because I was concerned that this HMO business would impact me a) because I’m intending to rent out my flat when I move to Italy next year b) London surely has a massively high concentration of students making it perhaps difficult to get a license if I did need one and c) because there appear to be lots (more) regulations you need to follow.

If you’re interested in more info about HMO’s, check out the definition on the direct gov website:

It looks like an HMO is an HMO when there are:

  • of three or more storeys
  • occupied by five or more persons who form more than one household

With that definition I would seem to be in the clear – my flat has 3 bedrooms and I wouldn’t rent the rooms out to more than 5 people and the flat is only on one storey.

Apparently, a local council can also include other types of HMOs for licensing. I’ve checked out Lambeth Council’s pages and there doesn’t seem to be anything I’ve missed.


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