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Planning for Houses in Multiple Occupation

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

What is a 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 members of a single household (basically a family) – No limit on number of members of the household
  • Those living together as a single household and receiving care – Limit is no more than six people
  • Those living together as a single household who do not fall within the definition of a house in multiple occupation – Limit is no more than six people
  • House in multiple occupation (small HMO): Shared properties occupied between 3 and 6 unrelated individuals who share basic amenities*Limit is no more than six people

Planning permission will be required if:

  • There are more than six unrelated people in occupation

*On 1 December 2012 permitted development rights were removed by way of an Article 4 Direction for the change of use from single dwellings to houses in multiple occupation (small HMO) in the wards shown below. Therefore, if such use commences after this date planning permission will be required.

  • Aylesford Green ward
  • Beaver ward
  • Little Burton Farm ward
  • South Willesborough ward

View these areas on our interactive map.

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 planning.help@ashford.gov.uk.

Visit our Houses in Multiple Occupation page for more information.

Useful Information

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