Multiple Residence


Doaa Kurdi



Multiple Residence Occupancy

Multiple residences in the UK are sub-premises situated within multiple occupancy buildings.

Each of these premises do not have their own publicly available delivery point (e.g. one letter box, mailing point, etc). Instead they have a shared delivery point that belongs to a parent premise listed on the Postcode Address File (PAF).

This is an important distinction because Royal Mail provides two datasets:

  • Postcode Address File, which lists every deliverable point in the UK (over 30 million premises)
  • Multiple Residence Dataset, which lists additional sub-premise addresses in the UK (700,000-800,000)

Below are a few illustrations to gain a better understanding of the differences between a multiple residence premise and a normal residence premise.

Normal Residence Example

In this diagram every apartment has its own publicly accessible letterbox. So each apartment will be listed on PAF and not on the Multiple Residence dataset.

Normal residence

Multiple Residence Example

Multiple residence

In this diagram, there are 6 apartments. However, a single mailbox is shared between residents. This mailbox is listed in PAF and the 6 apartments are listed in the Multiple Residence dataset.

Is Multiple Residence Required?

No. If you intend to send mail or a package to an address, it is sufficient to have the recipient name and the Postcode Address File address. Mail received by a Multiple Residence premise will always be rerouted internally. There is often no means for the delivery agent to reach the Multiple Residence premise - only the parent premise which can be found on PAF.

Take Note

Note that it is often not the case that dwellings which in the same building can only be found in the Multiple Residence dataset.

PAF, for example, contains the addresses of over 1.9 million flats in the UK. This is because established buildings which provide multiple dwellings, often create individual delivery points for each household - even if that delivery point is just a pigeonhole.

More Examples

A typical example is a three-storey residential premise converted into flats where the building owner has yet to assign individual delivery points to each flat. This building will have a single delivery point (i.e. the building’s address) which is listed on PAF; however it will also have dwellings which share the same delivery point (e.g. Basement flat, Flat 1, Flat 2), which will only be listed on the Multiple Residence dataset.

A number of premises can be considered multiple residences, such as student accommodation, businesses in a shared building or multiple households with a single letter box.


Around 180,000 (0.6%) PAF premises will have multiple dwellings attached to a single delivery point. Of these premises, the average number of additional dwellings is 4.

When Should Multiple Residence Be Used?

The Postcode Address File alone will be adequate to identify a premise for most use cases, like completing the delivery of mail or parcels.

In the case of addresses listed under the Multiple Residence dataset, any deliveries typically are forwarded internally by a postmaster (or equivalent) to the correct occupant. This can be done by specifying either the addressee and the PAF address or the addressee and the Multiple Residence address.

Multiple Residence is ideal for establishing the exact number of households within a particular premise. Typically, public utilities (internet service providers, water, energy) would like to know how many potential customers reside at an address.

More information on additional response fields using the multiple residence dataset is available in our documentation.

Cost Implications

Royal Mail levy additional licence fees if you wish to query the Multiple Residence dataset.

Ideal Postcodes bills an additional 0.5p per lookup.

If you wish to access Multiple Residence data you can either create a new key with this enabled or ask us to convert an existing key.

Differences in the Data

A Multiple Residence premise has its own unique code UMPRN. You can query for a Multiple Residence premise by UMPRN using our /umprn endpoint.

Since every Multiple Residence premise also belongs to a parent premise listed on PAF, it also shares the same UDPRN with that premise.

You can query for a UDPRN and UMPRN address below and see for yourself:

const udprn = 5770157; const address = await client.lookupUdprn({ udprn }); console.log(address);

const umprn = 50906066; const mrOccupancy = await client.lookupUmprn({ umprn }); console.log(mrOccupancy);


Getting Started

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