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Reporting licensable HMOs

We recently consulted on an Additional Licensing Scheme. This was approved by the Housing Committee on 1 February and the designation signed on 4 April 2016. This scheme will come into force on 5 July 2016. You can view the Public Notice. For more information on the consultation for an Additional Licensing Scheme, go to engage.barnet.gov.uk.

We recognise the contribution made to local housing by private landlords and wants to work with them to make sure their properties are adequate, safe and meet legal requirements.

Houses occupied by different households are called houses in multiple occupation (HMO) and are of particular concern because of the higher risks some of them pose to occupiers.

HMO definition

A HMO is a premises occupied as a main residence by more than one single household and when one of the households shares or lacks a basic amenity ie toilet, bath/shower and wash hand basin, or cooking facilities.

A single household is defined as people:

  • who are all members of the same family (ie parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or cousins.
  • people married or living together (including single sex relationships)
  • a couple living with a someone related to one member of that couple
  • a household includes foster children or domestic employees (nannies, maids, etc)
  • a person receiving care and their carer.

For a more detailed definition, refer to Section 258 of the Housing Act 2004.

Main residence

A main residence can be:

  • students in full time education
  • refuges run by voluntary organisations for persons suffering from physical violence or mental abuse
  • migrant and seasonal workers living away from home
  • asylum seekers.

For example:

Number of households
Three individual persons living in three separate bedsits
Three households
A couple sharing with a third person
Two households
A family of two adults and two children renting a property
One household
An au pair living with a family
One household

HMOs include:

  • bedsits
  • studios
  • houses partly converted into self-contained flats
  • hostels
  • accommodation above shops
  • shared houses and flats

HMO inspection

HMOs are regularly inspected and if conditions in the properties are not up to our standards, enforcement action may be taken which could result in a penalty.

We regularly inspect HMOs and if conditions in the properties inspected are not up to our standards we may take enforcement action in order to improve those properties.

Certain types of HMOs require licenses to ensure the management of those HMOs are sufficient.You can check if a HMO is licenced as the council displays a list of licensed HMOs on the Barnet Open Data Website.

If you know of a HMO which is licensable but has not been licensed, you can reporty ringing 020 8359 5355 or by emailing the property address, and any further details to hmos@barnet.gov.uk.


  • HMO Team
  • Environmental Health
    Barnet House
    1255 High Road
    N20 0EJ
  • Tel: 020 8359 7454
  • FAX: 0870 889 6793
  • Email: hmos@barnet.gov.uk

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