Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

In general terms an HMO is an entire house or flat which is let to 3 or more tenants who form 2 or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet. This includes bedsit type property. For a more detailed description of what constitutes an HMO or a household please see West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Note For Guidance 27 – Houses In Multiple Occupation.


Under the national mandatory licensing scheme an HMO must be licensed if it is a building consisting of three or more storeys and is occupied by five or more tenants in two or more households. However, HMOs which do not meet the licensing criteria must maintain adequate fire safety standards. Licensing is dealt with by the local housing authority.

Fire Service Role

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to the common areas of HMOs (premises occupied as single private dwellings are not included).

This places legal duties on the landlord, managing agent or other responsible person, to assess the fire risk and take adequate fire safety measures to ensure the safety of relevant persons.

Local Housing Authorities:

Leeds: Telephone: 0113 247 6248; Email:

Wakefield: Telephone: 01977 722260; Email:

Kirklees: Telephone: 01484 221396; Email:

Calderdale: Telephone: 01422 392373; Email:

Bradford: Telephone: 01274 437107; Email:

For further information on Government regulations:

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2022: Q&A booklet for the private rented sector – landlords and tenants.