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new cardiff > ENG > Resident > Housing > Private housing > Houses in Multiple Occupation

Houses in Multiple Occupation

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a building, or part of a building, that:


  • is occupied by individuals who do not form a single household, and
  • is occupied by those individuals as their only or main residence, and
  • rent is payable by at least one of the occupiers, and
  • two or more households share one or more basic amenities.


Purpose built blocks of self-contained flats are not HMOs, but houses or buildings that have been converted into a block of flats may be a HMO if:


  • the standard of conversion does not comply with the 1991 Building Regulations; and
  • less than two thirds of the flats are owner occupied.


You can find more information on Houses in Multiple Occupation​​​​Link opens in a new window on the central government website.




HMO licensing lays down fire safety requirements and applies standards relating to kitchen and bathroom facilities. It sets maximum occupancy limits and controls ongoing management standards.


Landlords must have a licence for all HMO properties. More information for landlords can be found under Licensing for HMOs


Additional licences for properties in Cathays


An additional licensing scheme is in operation for all HMOs in Cathays to improve the standard of rented property in the area, particularly with regard to fire safety and standards of kitchen and bathroom amenities.


The licence conditions will include any works that are needed to bring the property up to standard.


If you live in a HMO


This council is responsible for enforcing HMO standards, so if you live in a HMO and feel there are any unreasonable hazards which your private landlord is not dealing with, please report the issue to us. You will need to have contacted the landlord in writing first, to give them an opportunity to deal with the issue.


You can find more information on Houses in Multiple Occupation​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window on the central government website.