Planning guidance for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)


A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a dwelling with at least 3 tenants (forming more than one household) who share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities.

An Article 4 Direction was introduced on 23 December 2011 withdrawing permitted development rights for the change of use from a dwelling (use class C3) to a HMO (use Class C4) for the whole borough of Milton Keynes. This means that in order to legally operate a HMO a landlord must obtain planning permission.

Supplementary planning document

In 2012 the Council adopted a houses in multiple occupation supplementary planning document (SPD). This SPD provides guidance and is a material consideration in assessing planning applications for changes of use from a dwelling to a HMO.

Houses in multiple occupation (2012) SPD

In the case of a large HMO, those accommodating 5 or more tenants and being 3 storeys in height, the landlord also needs a HMO licence – further information regarding HMO licences can be found on the  HMO licensing section of the council’s website.