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Housing in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) | Private landlord advice | Sandwell Council

Private landlord advice

Housing in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

For an in depth explanation about HMO Licensing then please visit the official Sandwell Council HMO website. This will also allow you to apply for a HMO Licence.

If you rent out a property to 3 or more people who are not related, this is classed as a HMO. If the property has 5 or more people who are living in 2 or more households, this means that the property is a Licensable HMO and you should apply for a Licence. 

This is where people who are in a shared property (like students) or in bedsit style rooms, where each tenant may or may not know their neighbour.

To be classed as a HMO, the house has to have 3 or more people in 2 or more households sharing an amenity such as a kitchen, bathroom or both. For example 2 nurses share a house. This is NOT a HMO. However, if one of the nurses moves their boyfriend in, this would make it a HMO, as it has now become 3 people in 2 households. It is not, however, a Licensable HMO.

HMO's are currently only Licensable if there are 5 people in 2 or more households sharing amenities. 

What is a Household?

A household can be defined as:

  • A single person
  • A couple (applies to both married and non-married couples) 
  • A family group

Children are also counted as a person, even if they are a toddler.