A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a property where there are 3 or more unrelated persons living together as their main residence, these can be either licensed or unlicensed depending on whether they meet further criteria.
A property where there are 5 or more occupiers, forming two or more households will be licensable by Sheffield City Council and will be subject to the property and landlord meeting the standards for licensing. Any other property containing 3 or more unrelated occupiers that does not meet these criteria will usually be an unlicensed HMO.
Mandatory Licensing is a statutory requirement and those landlords who fail to apply for a license for a HMO which has five or more occupiers, forming two or more households, will be at risk of prosecution with fines up to £20,000.
Further information on HMO licensing can be found on Sheffield City Council’s website.
Can Any House Become a Licensed or Unlicensed HMO?
Due to the implementation of the Article 4 Direction, landlords wishing to convert a house from a family property or property where there were only two unrelated persons, to one for three or more unrelated persons, must apply for planning permission if the property falls within the Article 4 area.
Planning permission will usually only be granted if less than 20% of the properties within a 200m radius of the property are HMOs.
Where you wish to convert a property to a licensed HMO, the property must meet the article 4 criteria in addition to the standards for licensing of HMOs.
Can a Property Lose its HMO Status?
Yes, if a property which has been granted status as a House in Multiple Occupation is let to persons who do not comprise two or more households, and/or less than three people the HMO status will be lost. To let the property as an HMO after this will be required to apply and receive planning permission for the change in status.