Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

What is an HMO?

A property will be an HMO if it is lived in by people who belong to more than one family and who share one or more facilities, such as kitchens and bathrooms. These houses can include bedsits or just be shared houses.
To use a house as an HMO you may need:

The need for planning permission

Planning permission will not be needed if:

  • The house is being lived in by not more than six people living together as a single household unless it is in
    • Aylesford Green ward
    • Beaver ward
    • Little Burton Farm ward, and
    • South Willesborough ward

The areas covered by the these wards can be seen on our interactive map.

  • The house is being lived in by a single person or by people living together as a family;
  • The use has existed for a long time – you can confirm this with us by submitting an application for a Certificate of Lawful Development

If the house has more than six people living in it and they are not living as a family, planning permission will always be needed.

Planning permission is needed in the four wards listed above because the council confirmed an Article 4 (1) Direction on 15th of March 2012 under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, as amended.

The Direction removes permitted development rights for the Change of Use from class C3 (single dwelling) to class C4  (small HMO) from 1 December 2012.

Landlords must make sure that they satisfy planning, building control and the Housing Act requirements, which are independent of each other.

If you have any questions email

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