HMO definition and minimum amenity standards questions

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    HMO definition and minimum amenity standards questions

    Central London, WC1X, lodger agreement

    Hi, I have read about HMO definition online but want someone to help clear this out.

    I am a lodger in a house with 4 lodgers including me, plus 1 live in landlord.

    Does it count as HMO or large HMO? and how does the minimum amenity standards apply to?

    My live in landlord live a suite on the third floor, but in the same house, has his own kitchen and toilet. He shares washing machine with all the lodgers. Also, he let in his neighbour (2 persons) to use the washing machine as well.

    Is this considered HMO (4 lodgers and 1 live in landlord)?

    Which minimum amenity standards is applied? 1-4 persons or 5 persons? Currently 4 lodgers share one bathroom with toilet and it is quite crowded during weekend.

    The washing machine is not doing a great job because it is old, besides my landlord restrict people using it above 30 degree celcius wash. Recently I got chocolate on one of my cloth and after the wash the chocolate transferred to my other clothing such as hat and jacket. I was cost 12 pounds for a dry clean at a laundry store.

    And the landlord let in house heating only from 6pm to 9am, and its been cold these days, I have to pay extra money for electricity in my room for heating.

    What should I do?

    The question is not large versus small; it is small. It is also not whether it is an HMO; it is. The question is is it licensable. I think WC1X is Camden. Camden has borough wide additional licensing.

    Amenity standards vary from council to council.


      The local council will have a website that gives all their information on HMO. A telephone call to the environmental health department of the Council will also answer your queries. If the landlord has self contained accommodation and does not share all facilities he might not be regarded as a 'live-in' landlord. Try and resolve matters amicably with landlord as he is unlikely to take kindly to being complained about to council. Although HMO standards can vary slightly between Councils, my general understanding is that 4 people can share a bathroom if there is only one WC and it is in the same room. If there is a separate WC, then 5 persons can share the shower room or bathroom.


        I suspect you won't resolve things with this landlord. Even if you managed to force him to improve the situation, the chances are that he would then evict you. I think you should look for alternative accommodation


          Nigel Nicholson,

          Thanks for the advice I wasn’t familiar with HMO until weeks before someone on this forum mentioned that to me.

          i made a call to the Camden Council and was assured that my landlord as never applied for the HMO licence tho he has been renting out his house for years.

          and I read about the Camden HMO minimum standard. The shower room with toilet is far way too small to meet the standard and it also doesn’t have a heating in it. Kitchen should also no meet the standard as well. Overall heating system is restricted by landlord only on from 6pm to 9am, no heating provided during daytime even in weekends. An the heating as been broken for weeks as well. He refuses to provide any freezer compartment as well.

          i tried to dial the council to discuss more about the housing policy but was kept putting on the wrong line. As far as I know, I can ask the council to issue a legal letter asking for a HMO licence but I don’t know if there will be any improvement done. I mean he can’t expand the shower size right?

          Wat can I do for my own benefit? I tried to ask for early termination of my fix term loge freemen time but he refused.



            Thanks for the reply! I has always not been happy about this place and my landlord. I already ask for and early termination of my fix term agreement but he refused said he has a mortgage to pay and I can’t go anything about that since it was fix.

            any advice?


              I think your landlord is soon going to find himself with a criminal record!


                Pursue the situation with the Council. If they send him a letter about breaking the law regarding an HMO licence then he may be keen to empty the property quickly and might even pay you to leave.


                  Let me give an example of how the HMO licence operates, based on my own experience in Devon. Landlord applies for HMO licence, sends off cheque, and provided he does not have a criminal record and regarded as a 'fit and proper person' an HMO licence for the property will be issued. Sometime later, the property will be inspected. The council will identify matters such as fire precautions, amenity standards such as toilets and shower rooms etc. The landlord will be given reasonable time to do the work. Another way forward for a tenant is to 'complain' to the Council about the lack of amenities (heating etc) and ask for an urgent visit by an environmental health official. The Council would then request the landlord to do the urgent work, giving time frames for each job. Clearly, it takes longer to fit a fire door ( if needed) than it does to adjust the central heating controls. As stated by others, there may be some consequences that you should consider. You will get the full picture if you look on the council website but try this link



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