HMO Information

HMO’s “House in Multiple Occupation”
(Professional Houses or Student House)

There are two specific market places for HMO’s that many landlords prefer to choose to become involved with. Room Rentals are very happy to chat to any potential/existing landlord interested in HMO’s as we have positioned ourselves as experts in the field of HMO’s. 

Please ask to speak to Jane Bradding Room Rentals Director

Student Market

After the first year at University, second year students generally prefer to share with other students and move into a house share, these houses are typically HMO’s. (full information about HMO’s below).

Landlords can expect a return on investment from 10% to 25% with a rental return up to 75%

Professional Market

The rental marketing has changed significantly over the last few years for working professionals as more and more working professionals are choosing to house share, providing a more cost-effective way of living. 

With the changing room rental market and thankfully legislation, the image of dingy, damp rooms in cold houses are no longer an option for a landlord wanting to rent out his rooms. Instead what has emerged are energetic, vibrant landlords providing high quality rooms in sociable house shares where the communal areas are a great place to relax in the evenings. Room Rentals lead the way for investors interesting in this market place with both Southampton City Council and Fareham Council congratulating Room Rentals as landlords for the high standard of accommodation we provide.

For Landlords investing in the Professional HMO Market, they can expect a return on investment from 10% to 25% with a rental return up to 75%

Classification of an HMO

A HMO is an entire flat or house that is let to 3 Tenants or more who live as two households or more and share a kitchen, a bathroom and/or a toilet. From 1st October 2018 all one and two stories properties are mandatory licensable where there are at least 5 tenants forming 2 or more households. 

Types of Licensing 

Mandatory Licences

All HMOs with five people or more sharing facilities require mandatory licences; in force under the 2006 Housing Act

Additional HMO Licensing

This discretionary scheme can be adopted by the councils to help deal with HMO-associated problems that are not covered by mandatory licensing already


On 1 October 2018 Southampton City Council introduced an additional HMO licensing scheme covering the wards of Bevois, Bargate, Portswood and Swaythling. The scheme covers all HMOs in this area that are not covered by Mandatory HMO licensing. This will include all HMOs with three or four tenants and purpose-built flats with three or more occupants that are situated in a block comprising three or more self-contained flats.


Portsmouth City Council has approved proposals for an additional licensing scheme to cover the PO1, PO4 and PO5 postal areas of the city. 

Selective Property Licensing

Selective property licensing schemes were introduced to help deal with certain areas’ issues
Within selective licensing zones, every privately rented property, regardless of its size and occupation, must be licensed
Selective licensing zones are areas or roads specifically chosen for licensing by the council

An individual managing/controlling a licensable HMO commits an offence if he/she fails, without reasonable excuse, to apply for the licence. Therefore, it is very important to ensure you have taken action to apply for a licence.  A licence normally lasts for five years maximum, but in some circumstances the council may grant a licence with a shorter duration.

HMO Standards

Room Sizes (Taken from Southampton City Council Website)

Mandatory Condition from 1st October 2018 minimum room sizes are to be imposed as a condition of Part 2 Housing Act 2004 licenses. Please note these are the statutory minimum standards and the standards imposed by Southampton City Council are higher (see following tables – hyperlink given below). Minimum sleeping room sizes set out in legislation; 6.51m2 for one person over 10 years of age 10.22m2 for two persons over 10 years of age

Maintenance Conditions

With all licensable HMO’s there are certain conditions/standards that you must ensure is maintained and even with non-licensable houses we would recommended these standards are adhered to when renting to ensure the safety of your tenants.

These mandatory conditions require the landlord, the holder of the licence, to:

  • A valid, current gas safety certificate
  • A valid, current fire alarm test certificate
  • A valid current EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report)
  • Keep furniture and electrical appliances supplied in safe working condition and supply (on demand) the local council with declarations of such furniture/electrical appliances’ safety
  • PAT certificates for any electrical equipment supplied to Tenants that is more than 12 months old
  • An Energy Performance Certificate
  • A management agreement (for properties where the licence is not held by the owner)
  • Complete a Fire Risk Assessment
  • Give occupiers/Tenants a statement detailing the terms under which they occupy your HMO

What extra responsibilities do HMO landlords have?

 Landlords of HMOs have a number of additional legal responsibilities such as:

  • Maintain and repair communal areas and facilities
  • Ensure that the property is not overcrowded
  • Provide cooking and washing facilities suitable for however many Tenants are in the property
  • Hold an up-to-date legionella risk assessment 
  • Provide enough waste bins for the number of tenants in the property
  • Ensure that there are accessible escape routes and that they are kept clear

Many landlords are happy to manage their own HMO’s and come to Room Rentals to provide them with a high quality Tenant find service. Alternatively, for other landlords whether new to the HMO market or experience landlords wanting to ‘put their feet up’ we provide a bespoke service to suit your requirements. 

Please call us today to discuss your requirements


What Our Clients Say About Us...

Here at Room Rentals, the values of honesty, integrity, flexibility and professionalism underpin the service we provide to landlords and tenants alike. Check out our positive feedback that we have received from our happy clients at Room Rentals.

Steve WoodLandlord

Having worked with Room Rentals for a few years now, I have been continually impressed with their professionalism, reliability and efficiency in sourcing great tenants for my portfolio of rooms. Having such effective support has enabled me to focus more on other aspects of the business, knowing that the lettings operation is in safe hands.”

Stacey GreyTenant

A huge thank you to room rentals for their continual professional service they provided while I lived in Southampton . Cannot fault this company for their friendly and professional services, I would definitely use this company again and would recommend to anyone

Amber GreyTenant

Room Rentals – Aw amazing new as I’d really like to go with your agency because you’ve been so nice

Filipa FeijoTenant

Room rentals provided me with a very positive experience for my first 6 months in the UK. They are very professional and have a hands-on approach. They always try to solve every problem as soon as possible and make sure the tenants are comfortable in their homes. I am very happy to recommend Room Rentals to anyone who is looking to live in a shared house.

Rose SuttonTenant

Hi Jane, This will be the 7th time I have moved rented accommodation and as a result I’ve dealt with lots of different letting agents and I just wanted to say that you are the most lovely and helpful letting agent I have ever come across by a mile!! Thank you!

Roohollah HafiziTenant

Dear Jane

I can not tell how grateful I am for everything that you did today. I was totally disappointed of having a room before the next week, but you made it possible. I should thank you and your team a million times for everything.

Shankar TanikellerTenant

I once again thank the whole team making my stay for almost 3.5 years so smooth and easy. If I look back and count I have referred 14 colleagues of mine in 3.5 years for accommodation and all of them are very happy and thankful to you. They left for new engagements at work and to new locations - lastly it’s my time, moved to west midlands :)

Thanks again to all of you.