Understanding HMOs in Manchester: A Guide for Landlords

What is an HMO?

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a property rented out by at least three people who are not from one 'household' (e.g., a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen.

In Manchester, the demand for HMOs is high, especially among students and young professionals.

Licensing Requirements

In Manchester, all HMOs must be licensed. There are two types of licenses:

  1. Mandatory License: Required for properties that are three or more storeys high and house five or more people forming more than one household.

  2. Additional License: The local council may require this for other types of HMOs not covered under the mandatory license.

Application Process

  1. Preparation: Ensure the property meets the HMO standards, including fire safety measures and room sizes.

  2. Documentation: Prepare all necessary documents, such as gas safety certificates, electrical installation reports, and floor plans.

  3. Submission: Apply online through the Manchester City Council website and pay the application fee.

Safety Regulations

  1. Fire Safety: Install smoke alarms in each room, fire doors, and provide fire extinguishers and blankets.

  2. Electrical Safety: Conduct regular electrical inspections and provide safety certificates.

  3. Gas Safety: Annual gas safety checks are mandatory.

Tenant Management

  1. Tenancy Agreements: Use written agreements to clearly outline the terms and conditions, which could be separated out room by room.

  2. Deposits: Must be protected in a government-approved scheme.

  3. Rent: Clearly state the rent amount, due date, and method of payment.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with HMO regulations can result in hefty fines, imprisonment, or both. Additionally, you may be prohibited from managing HMOs in the future.


Managing an HMO in Manchester requires a thorough understanding of both the benefits and responsibilities involved. By adhering to local regulations and maintaining high standards, landlords can provide safe and comfortable living conditions while enjoying a lucrative rental income.