Living in shared accommodation

If you live in private rented accommodation with friends or students, you might be living in a house in multiple occupation (HMO). Your landlord must have a licence to rent a HMO to tenants. You can check they have a HMO licence with the local council.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

A house in multiple occupation is:

  • living accommodation
  • the main home for three or more people who aren't in the same family
  • rented by one or more of the people living there

A landlord who owns a house in multiple occupation (HMO) must have a licence before they rent the property to tenants. You can check if a property is licensed as a HMO by contacting your local council.

Safety standards in HMOs

HMOs have high safety standards as there can be increased risks in this type of housing. For example, people often lock their rooms in shared accommodation, so there may be an increased risk of fire.

To make sure properties meet safety standards, landlords must license houses they rent to multiple tenants with the local council.

To check your home is licensed as a HMO, ask your local council:

Student accommodation

Students can rent university-managed or registered accommodation. For more information about renting student accommodation, go to:

Universities and colleges also have information about student accommodation:

Housing information in other languages

To read housing rights information in other languages go to: 

You can learn more about renting privately, homelessness, sharing a home, paying for your accommodation and other issues that affect migrant workers.

More useful links

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