HMOs video guide​ – Part 1 – planning basics​

In the first of our 6-page guide to planning permission and HMOs, our chief executive Martin Gaine explains the basics of the planning system as it applies to HMOs. 

In simple terms, a house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a house or flat rented by sharers, rather than by a single family.

It is defined by the government as a property occupied by more than 2 people who form more than 1 household and share basic facilities (such as a kitchen and bathroom).

There has been massive growth in HMOs over the past couple of decades, driven by landlords chasing higher yields, but also by demographic changes, especially more people living alone.

This growth has triggered greater regulation of the sector. The 2004 Housing Act introduced mandatory and selective licensing. In 2018 mandatory licensing was extended to all HMOs with 5 or more residents and minimum internal standards were introduced. 

But remember than planning and licensing are not the same thing!

Now the planners are training their sights on HMOs – more and more of them need planning permission and that permission is becoming increasing difficult to obtain.

For more tips and tricks, check out Martin’s new book, ‘Planning for HMOs’: