HMO Planning vs HMO Licensing; what’s the difference?


At HMOHub this is a question we get asked constantly and as an HMO landlord or potential HMO owner, it’s very important to understand the difference for a multitude of reasons, not least, legal compliance and keeping investors on the right side of the law. In this short guide, we summarise HMO Planning and HMO licensing to make things a little clearer.

HMO planning and HMO licensing are totally different, and many property professionals get them confused, and so we have put together this brief overview guide.

HMO Planning, is the formal permission from a local authority or council, for the erection or alteration of buildings or similar development, for the use class HMO, C4 (Small HMO) or Sui Generis HMO (Large HMO).

HMO Planning Permission

To know more about HMO Planning go to our dedicated HMO Planning Page.

HMO Licensing, enacted in 2006 through the Housing Act of 2004, is the legal system used in the UK, by a local authority or council, to prescribe standards of safety and amenity, and decide the suitability for occupation, of a licensable HMO property.

HMO Licensing is achieved by considering the maximum number of households or persons which can live at a property, by citing the Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (England) Regulations 2006, schedule 3.

In general, it provides standards such as:

  • heating requirements
  • washing facilities
  • kitchens
  • units of living accommodation without shared basic amenity
  • to provide additional bathrooms or personal washing facilities
  • to provide kitchen facilities for the exclusive use of the occupant(s) of designated rooms.
HMO Licensing

To know more about HMO licensing and if you need it, go to our dedicated HMO Licensing page.

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