Houses in multiple occupation

Cornwall Council, Town and Parish, and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections information and results.


Apply for an HMO licence

Any property which has 5 or more people (forming 2 or more households), where there is sharing of kitchens, WC or bathrooms will need an HMO licence.

Please follow our step by step guidance on how to apply for an HMO licence.

Register of HMOs

We must maintain a public register of Licensed houses of multiple occupation (HMOs). This is required under the Housing Act 2004 Part ll. The register shows all licensed HMOs in Cornwall.

View the register of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Report a concern about an HMO

If you are worried about a property that appears to be shared by a large number of people, please let us know by competing the following form.

Report a concern about an HMO

Information for HMO tenants

What is the legal definition of a HMO?

Under the Housing Act 2004, a building or part of a building is an HMO if:

  • It meets the standard test
  • It meets the self-contained flat test
  • it meets the converted building test
  • A declaration notice is in force
  • It is a converted block of flats.

Duties of the HMO Manager

Under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 managers must ensure that good conditions are maintained.

The Managers of HMOs Duties leaflet explains what is required by the regulations in relation to the following provisions:

  • Safety of Residents
  • Refuse and litter
  • Windows and Ventilation
  • Communal Areas
  • Individual Living Areas
  • Water and Fuel Supplies
  • Provision of Information

Duties of Residents

Residents must:

  • Allow the Manager reasonable access to carry out their duties;
  • Give the Manager any information they need in order to carry out their duties;
    Comply with reasonable arrangements for fire safety and refuse disposal.

Residents must not:

  • Hinder the Manager in the performance of their duties;
  • Cause damage to anything which the Manager must keep in repair.

What happens if the Manager does not manage the property correctly?

If a manager has failed to manage a property correctly and has breached the regulations, the Council will take action.

Managers will be notified of any breaches by way of a formal letter stating the contraventions observed, works required to be carried out and a timescale for completion. Failure to resolve these breaches may lead to prosecution.

If the management of the property is so poor that it presents an imminent risk to the health, safety and well being of the tenants, the council has the power to take action against the Manager without giving notice of the defects.

If taken to court, Managers may face fines of up to £5,000 for each regulation that has been breached.

A Civil Penalty Notice may be issued as an alternative to prosecution.

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