Accessibility Statement
Chat icon Chat with us live

Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMO)

(As of 1st October 2018 HMOs that are occupied by five or more people that form two or more households with any number of storeys will be licensable.)

What is a House of Multiple Occupancy ?

An HMO is a home where:

  • three or more people live, and
  • at least two groups of people live separately within the home, and
  • facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens are shared between the groups of people living there.
  • Therefore, this may include properties such as bedsits and shared houses are classed as HMOs.

Click here   to find out if your property is a HMO. The detailed definition is contained in the Housing Act 2004.

Not all HMOs are licensable so landlords need to look at the criteria below.


Who needs to apply for an House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licence?

As of 6 April 2006 all landlords and property managing agents who let large houses in multiple occupation need to apply for a licence from the local authority. Failure to do so can lead to fines of up to £20,000 and a criminal record, and potentially, rent repayment orders. Applications must be made to the local housing authority. A fee will be charged for processing the licence application and carrying out an inspection of the HMO.

Under Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004, owners and landlords must now get a licence to manage certain larger, higher-risk Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). This is to improve conditions and management standards.

The law states that a property must be licensed if it meets the following conditions:

  • 5 or more people live there, where there are two or more groups of people living together
  • Facilities such as bathrooms, kitchens and lounges are shared

If you believe you live in, or own, or manage a HMO in Tameside that is unlicensed you must phone 0161 342 3323. Any owner or landlord of a property which isn't licensed, but should be, could be fined up to £20,000.

For an application form please phone 0161 342 3323.


If the HMO is not licensable under the guidelines above?

If your HMO is not classed as a licensable HMO (see above) then you do not need to apply for a licence. you still need to abide by the 'Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006' which ensure that properties are managed properly on a day-to-day basis.

If you make alterations to an HMO, please advise us at the earliest opportunity. You can do this by contacting the Housing Standards Team using the email or telephone number below.


What about self contained flats?

The property is a HMO if it contains self-contained flats that do not meet 1991 Building Regulation standards. Self contained flats generally do not need a licence, however if a single facility such as a laundry room makes the property eligible for a licence but it must also meet the licensable HMO criteria.

The property is not a HMO if:

  • If it is occupied by only two people.
  • If it is occupied by the owner (and their family if any) and one or two lodgers.
  • If it is occupied by a religious community.
  • If the occupiers have their main residence elsewhere.
  • If no one in the property is required to pay rent.
  • If the owner or manager is a public body.
  • If the owner or manager is an educational institution.
  • A building of self-contained flats if two thirds or more of the flats are owner-occupied.
  • If the property is part of a guest house or hotel (unless an 'HMO Declaration' is made).


If the property was converted into self contained flats previous to 1991 Building Regulations then modifications may be needed to bring the property up to current standards, and is a legal requirement. Works most commonly needed include the upgrading of fire detection systems and the upgrading of fire doors and their furniture. We can be contacted on 0161 342 3323 for further assistance and advice or alternatively see the LACORS Fire Safety Guidance in Residential Properties .

A Public Register of all licensed HMOs is available here


Documents you may need:

Landlords Guide to HMOs 

Landlords application form for a Licensable HMO 

Required Documentation for a HMO Licence

  • Fire safety inspection certificate
  • Electrical installations inspection certificate
  • PAT certificate for appliances
  • Gas safety inspection certificate
  • Floor Plan
  • Criminal Record Bureau CRB certificate for all relevant persons.
  • Completed application form.
  • Additional information / documentation must be presented when requested by an Officer from Tameside MBC or the Fire Service.  

Contact Information
Contact by Post

Operations & Neighbourhoods
Tameside MBC
Tame Street Depot
Tame Street
SK15 1ST
Contact by Telephone
0161 342 2559/3323/2388