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HMO occupiers under the Housing Act 1985

This content applies to England

Under the Housing Act 1985, local authorities have various powers in relation to houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

HMOs are defined as houses that are occupied by more than one household (eg a house split into bedsits). Where the health, safety or welfare of the tenant or tenant's household is seriously at risk due to inadequate management, overcrowding, bad conditions, or harassment, local authorities have the power to take control of HMOs using a control order.[1] See the section on Houses in multiple occupation for more information about HMOs.

Case law[2] has established that it is also possible for a local authority to make a compulsory purchase order where occupiers of an HMO are subjected to harassment or illegal eviction. For more information see the Compulsory purchase orders section.

[1] s.379 Housing Act 1985.

[2] R v Secretary of State for the Environment, ex parte Kensington & Chelsea RLBC (1987) 19 HLR 161.

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