Houses in Multiple Occupation

The Housing Standards Team is responsible for maintaining and improving standards in houses in multiple occupation (HMO's) and the Council has legal powers to deal with unsatisfactory conditions which do not meet the Council's Prescribed Standards for HMOs.

What is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?

An HMO is any building, or part of a building (e.g. a flat):

  • which is occupied by more than one household and in which more than one household shares an amenity (or the building lacks an amenity) such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities, or
  • which is occupied by more than one household and which is a converted building which does not entirely comprise self contained flats (whether or not there is also a sharing or lack of amenities), or
  • which comprises entirely of converted self contained flats and the standard of conversion does not meet, at a minimum, that required by the 1991 Building Regulation and at least one third of the flats are occupied under short tenancies

The definition not only encompasses traditional bedsit type accommodation but also any instances where people share any facilities. In the case of student accommodation it should be noted that each student constitutes a single household, therefore shared student houses will fall under this definition of an HMO.

HMO licensing

The  Housing Act 2004 introduced licensing for HMOs. There are two types of HMO licensing, mandatory and additional licensing.
Licensing is mandatory for larger, higher risk HMOs which are:

  • three or more storeys high, and
  • have five or more people in residence, who are not part of the same family

Councils have discretionary powers to extend licensing to other HMOs which are not subject to mandatory licensing. This is known as additional HMO licensing.
Currently Mid Sussex District Council have no plans to introduce additional licensing in the area.
Landlords need to apply to the Council's Housing Standards Team for licences.


Housing fees

How do I apply?

HMO Licensing application form - print version

Print, complete and post to the Housing Standards Team

Please refer to HMO Licensing - making an application to assist with completing the application form.

Further information on HMO licensing can be found in our HMO Licensing information leaflet or the Landlords and Managers Guide to Houses in Multiple Occupation booklet.

Details of HMOs in the Mid Sussex area can be found on the HMO Public Licence Register


Housing Standards Team
Tel: (01444) 477292

If you are letting or managing a property the following information may prove useful: