Other council departments may have slightly different definitions, but for council tax purposes a house in multiple occupation is:

  • built or adapted for tenants or licensees not living as a single household or
  • occupied either by people living in only part of the property, each with their own tenancy or licence, or by people who pay rent or a fee for only part of the property.

For most properties defined as houses in multiple occupation (an HMO), rental arrangements determine whether the landlord, owner or tenant is liable for council tax.

It is usually the landlord or owner who is liable in an HMO where each tenant has their own tenancy agreement and only pays rent for part of the property. Tenants are more likely to be liable for council tax if there is only one tenancy agreement for the whole property and all rent, with all tenants’ names included on the one agreement.

Sometimes liability for council tax is only clear once all relevant information is gathered from owners, agents or tenants. If we request any information from you, please supply it as soon as possible to help us make a quick decision.