Factsheet 40 - Houses in Multiple Occupation and the Housing Act 2004


Houses in Multiple Occupation and the Housing Act 2004


These provisions will come into force between 6th April 2006, when the majority of the provisions of the Act concerning HMOs commence, and 3rd July 2006 when the enforcement and Rent Repayment provisions start. This implementation will be carried out in the form of Regulations in Statutory Instruments, which will be published during the year.


The provisions of the Housing Act 2004 and its associated Regulations will replace the Housing (Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation) Regulations 1990 under the Housing Act 1985. However, under these provisions many local authorities introduced their own individual HMO registration schemes, which will be retained.  Current Government guidance suggests that the bulk of the properties covered will be 3 storey properties with 5+ residents.

Existing HMO registration schemes

Where an HMO is registered under a Local Housing Authority [LHA] Registration Scheme with Control Provisions, the property may be passported into licensing. Where the HMO is registered and will be subject to mandatory licensing it must be passported into licensing. A licence will be granted for the residual period of registration and at no cost to the licence holder. Where the HMO is registered and is not subject to mandatory licensing the LHA may introduce a transitional licensing scheme to cover such types of property. Transitional schemes last for a maximum of 3 years. At the end of that period if the local authority wish to continue with additional licensing they may do so subject to the normal rules for additional licensing. Landlords and agents should check with their local authorities for the requirements of these schemes, which may differ from the national requirements.


For the purposes of the Housing Act 2004 a building or a part of a building is a "house in multiple occupation" if it satisfies one of the following:-

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