HMO Lettings: HMOs, Shared Houses, Multi-Lets, HiMO – What are they are what’s the difference?
A House of Multiple Occupation or HMO, refers to any property where two or more unrelated people share a residential house. These types of properties are also known as Shared Houses, Houses In Multiple Occupation and Multi Let Properties, they are all the same thing just different people refer to them in different ways. All an HMO really means is that there is more than one unrelated party living within the property. So, a family is obviously one related party and wouldn’t constitute an HMO, but if two friends were living together in a two bed flat then in theory that is regarded as an HMO.
However, the key point is just because it is an HMO, doesn’t mean it requires lots of regulations. Whenever people think of HMOs, they usually think of all the negative connotations surrounding HMOs. People think of HMOs are large 4 story ten bedroom houses requiring expensive fire regulations and intensive inspections and management. This is where people tend to get confused and one of the reasons for this blog post.
As previously mentioned an HMO is just where two or more unrelated parties share a property. Where people come a cropper is to do with licensing of HMOs, not all HMOs, Shared houses, Multilets, whatever you wish to call them will require licensing and licensing is the slightly more complex area people tend to associate with these types of properties.
Most of the time it is the necessity of licensing that requires the expensive fire regulations and inspections. I would just like to caveat that by saying in some areas, just because a shared house doesn’t need licensing, doesn’t mean it won’t require some regulations. I also personally feel as a landlord there are key ethical reasons why even if technically a shared house doesn’t require licensing, there is still an ethical and moral obligation to provide a certain amount of safety for tenants, even if not to the extent required of licensed properties as at the end of the day, landlords are still responsible for the people living in their properties, red tape aside.
Bottom line, the word HMO or House of Multiple Occupation is just a property where two or more unrelated parties are living with use of shared facilities. HMOs are the same thing are shared houses, Multi-lets and Houses in Multiple Occupation. The difference people tend to get confused on is the licensing requirements which will be covered in detail on another blog post.
Still confused? Why not ring Relo for a no obligation chat about HMOs and see why we are such big fans for them! We would love to see why you want to get into HMOs and if we can be of any help to you.