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If you have an existing HMO licence that needs work to be completed to the property at this time, please call 01483 505050 and ask to speak to the Housing Standards Team or email regulatoryservices@guildford.gov.uk.

If you have a pending HMO application, we will look at how we can deal with this remotely.

The new Electrical Safety Regulations 2020 - Please send your electrical safety certificates confirming works have been made safe (as required) to CustomerServices@guildford.gov.uk.

House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

What is a House in Multiple Occupation - HMO?

An (HMO) is any property rented out to three or more people who form two or more households. They also share toilet, bathroom or kitchen spaces.

A household is made up of either a single person or members of the same family who live together. It includes people who are married, living together and people in same-sex relationships.

Is your home an HMO?

An HMO could be:

  • a house let as individual bedsits
  • Shared houses/flats - where three people, who are not related, form three separate households
  • houses converted into self-contained flats
  • a hostel


What are the rules for landlords of HMOs?

Do you live in an HMO where at least five people live, forming two or more households? If so, your landlord must have a licence.

All HMO landlords must also:

  • follow our set standards guide to room sizes, kitchen and bathroom spaces. icon HMO standards for landlords [72.28KB]
  • follow LACORS fire safety guidance, available on the CIEH website. Install smoke alarms and fire-fighting equipment. Install carbon monoxide alarms where there is a solid fuel appliance.  Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms booklet for landlords 
  • keep fire escapes in repair and free from obstruction
  • give his or her contact details to the people living in the HMO
  • take steps to make sure people living in the HMO are not hurt by its structural condition
  • make sure there is good drainage from the HMO. Make sure there is water supply and the supply is not unreasonably interrupted
  • supply us with annual gas safety certificates (if the HMO has gas) when asked
  • carry out safety checks on electrical installations every five years
  • make sure the supply of gas (if any) and electricity is not unreasonably interrupted
  • keep the HMO's shared areas in good condition (including decorative repair) 
  • keep each person's separate living area in good condition, including fixtures and fittings
  • maintain shared gardens and keep in repair any out buildings or fences belonging to the HMO

provide suitable facilities for getting rid of rubbish.

​​​​​​There is further information about HMOs on gov.uk.

What are the rules for people living in an HMO?

If you live in an HMO you must:

  • not make it hard or stop your landlord carrying out their duties.
  • take care not to damage anything which the landlord has a duty to repair, maintain, keep in good order or supply.
  • get rid of rubbish using the landlord's advice
  • follow all reasonable fire safety instructions given by the manager.

Fines for failure to meet duties

You, or your landlord, can be fined up to £30,000 if you don't follow the rules.

We will normally give you an opportunity to sort out any problems before we issue any fines.