Properties occupied by more than the one household are normally regarded as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
Such properties can include bed sits, hostels, shared houses, student houses and properties converted into self-contained flats. To safeguard the occupants living in this type of accommodation there are regulations laid down by the Government which require a certain standard of facilities, means of escape from fire and fire precautions.
In addition it is now a requirement under the Housing Act 2004 that certain types of House in Multiple Occupation are licensed with the Council.
Under the changes in the Housing Act 2004, if you let a property which is one of the following types it is a House in Multiple Occupation:
In order to be an HMO the property must be used as the tenants’ only or main residence and it should be used solely or mainly to house tenants. Properties let to students and migrant workers will be treated as their only or main residence and the same will apply to properties which are used as domestic refuges.
The following are 'households' for the purposes of the Housing Act 2004:
Members of the same family living together including:
Any domestic staff are also included in the household if they are living rent-free in accommodation provided by the person for whom they are working.
Therefore three friends sharing together are considered three households. If a couple are sharing with a third person that would consist of two households. If a family rents a property that is a single household. If that family had an au-pair to look after their children that person would be included in their household.