Definition of a HMO:
It is rented to 5 or more people who form 1 household, some of the tenants share a toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities, at least 1 tenant pays rent (or their employer pays it for them).
Even if the property is smaller, and has less people in it, depending on which are it is in, it may still be classed as a HMO. This is called Selective Licensing.
As an owner of a HMO, you will need to ensure that the property has all the necessary safety certificates, this list isn’t exhaustive, but these are the most important ones:
Gas Safety Certificate
Portable Appliance Test (PAT)
Fire Detection System Certificate (FDS)
Emergency lighting Certificate (EL)
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Legionella Certificate/Risk Assessment
Before you get your HMO license, there is a a variety of criteria your property must match up to, and it will be inspected. It ranges from a minimum size for bedrooms to the standard of amenities and evidence of certificates. You may need to improve parts of the property before you get the license. However a HMO officer will inform you of this once they have visited the property.