Houses in multiple occupation

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) can offer good quality affordable accommodation to people who cannot afford to buy their own homes and are not eligible for housing by the Council.

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is defined as:

  • an entire house or flat which is let to 3 or more tenants who form 2 or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
  • a house which has been converted entirely into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and which is let to 3 or more tenants who form two or more households and who share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities
  • a converted house which contains one or more flats which are not completely self contained (ie the flat does not have a kitchen, bathroom and toilet) and which is occupied by 3 or more tenants who form two or more households
  • a building (or part of a building) which is converted entirely into self-contained flats, if the conversion did not meet the standards of the 1991 Building Regulations, and more than one-third of the flats are let on short-term tenancies
  • in order to be an HMO the property must be used as the tenants’ only or main residence and it should be used solely or mainly to house tenants – properties let to students and migrant workers will be treated as their only or main residence and the same will apply to properties used as domestic refuges

A household is a single person or members of the same family living together. This includes both people who are married or cohabiting (living together), people in a same-sex relationship, any member of a family (aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, grandparents, grandchildren (all of which include partners), step children and foster children. It also includes occupiers who are unrelated, living with a family such as carers, au pairs or nannies. Friends occupying a house on a shared tenancy are viewed as multiple households.

Landlord accreditation scheme

If you let or manage property in Hackney, give tenants confidence that you are a good landlord or agent by joining the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme (LLAS). It aims to recognise good practice and improve conditions in the private rented sector.

Page updated on: 19 July 2022

Private Sector Housing


Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY


Opening times

  • Mon to Fri, 9am - 4pm