Houses in multiple occupation

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a building or part of a building (e.g. flat), which is occupied by three or more unrelated persons, who do not form a single household.

A household may be a single person or several members of the same family, all related by blood or marriage. For example: a house occupied by a brother, sister and one other unrelated occupant would form two households; three unrelated persons would form three households.

Some HMOs may require a licence, which is dependent on the size of the property, the number of occupants or on the Local Housing Authority (LHA). Licences are issued and regulated by the LHA.
Both the LHA and Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service (CFRS) have enforcement powers in HMOs under the Housing Act 2004 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) respectively.

The LHA will take the lead in enforcing fire safety in all HMOs, except for premises with mixed commercial and associated residential accommodation and all multiple occupied accommodation that is owned or managed by the LHA.

Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS) has produced the Housing - Fire Safety guidance document, which offers guidance to regulators, landlords, managing agents and tenants on how to ensure adequate fire safety in certain types of residential accommodation. It offers practical advice on the fire risk assessment and contains case studies with suggested fire safety solutions. The guidance document is intended for buildings which have been constructed or adapted for use as domestic dwellings and it covers a range of existing residential premises.

Please download a copy of the document for further information.
Housing fire safety: LACORS guide.