Houses in multiple occupation

A property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) if it's let as a main or only home:

  • to at least three tenants who form more than one family household
  • and the tenants share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet

With a much higher percentage of properties than the national average in the city, HMOs are a vital source of accommodation in Brighton & Hove.

Our HMO Licensing schemes aim to help ensure safe, well-managed private rented accommodation for our residents.

Following consultation, the introduction of two new licensing schemes for private rented housing in the city was agreed at the Housing & New Homes Committee on 15 November 2017.

A new designation for a citywide Additional Licensing Scheme for smaller Houses in Multiple Occupation was introduced in March 2018. 

An application has been made to the Secretary of State for approval to proceed with a Selective Licensing Scheme of other private rented properties in 12 wards in the city.

General information about HMOs

If you’re a tenant of a HMO that should be licensed, your landlord has extra legal responsibilities. The extra rules are there to reduce the risk of fire and to make sure that people living in shared houses or flats have adequate facilities.

If your home has problems with the building or maintenance, please use our reporting repair problems in private sector housing form.

You can also find more information on our renting a home in the private sector pages.

If you’re experiencing problems with a HMO in your neighbourhood, follow the links below for more information on what you can do:

Map of HMOs in Brighton & Hove

Our map shows the properties currently recorded as houses in multiple occupation in the city.

HMOs and planning

Licensing a HMO does not grant any planning consent that might be required for the property to be used as a house in multiple occupation. Additional planning controls exist in Brighton & Hove meaning that full planning permission may be required. Please see our planning pre-application advice webpage on small houses in multiple occupation for more information.