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Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

A HMO is any house or flat that is shared by three or more people do not live as a single household. Bed sitting accommodation and houses or flats occupied by sharers are examples of HMOs. All HMOs are subject to additional regulation and some types of HMO require the landlord to get a licence.

HMOs provide much needed more affordable housing for many people. Unfortunately, they are also at risk of having the very worst living conditions. This is why additional legal requirements are in place.

All HMOs in the borough are expected to meet Islington’s HMO Standards and to be managed in accordance with HMO Management Regulations.

HMO status can affect planning. Landlord are usually responsible for paying the Council Tax for HMOs.

Most HMO licensing rules are national. In Islington we have evidence that there is a large number of poorly managed properties in the areas on the Holloway and Caledonian Roads.  Additional licensing has been put in place to ensure that these properties are managed to a good standard.

Legal action:

If the landlord fails to get a licence they can be taken to court and  - if convicted - heavily fined.

If a landlord is convicted the tenants can then apply for a Rent Repayment Order from the courts to reimburse them for some of the rent, if they apply within a fixed time.

The landlord cannot evict the tenants of an HMO that should be licensed but is not. 


To check whether your property requires a licence, please contact us:

Tel: 020 7527 3083

Email: property.licensing@islington.gov.uk

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