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House in multiple occupation (HMO) licence

Find out if you need a licence and apply for licence online.

Do I need a licence?

A HMO requires a mandatory property licence when all of the below apply:

  • the HMO or any part of the building comprises of 3 storeys or more
  • it is occupied by 5 or more persons regardless of age from 2 or more households
  • tenants are living in the property as their main or only residence
  • there are shared facilities such as kitchen, bathroom and or toilet

Definition of a HMO

The Housing Act 2004 provides a definition of what constitutes a HMO.  

A HMO means a building (or part of a building, such as a flat), that:

  • is occupied by more than one household and where more than one household shares, or lacks an amenity, such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities
  • is occupied by more than one household and which is a converted building, but not entirely into self contained flats (whether or not some amenities are shared or lacking)
  • is converted self contained flats, but does not meet as a minimum standard the requirements of the Building Regulations 1991, and at least one third of flats are occupied under short tenancies

There are six recognised categories of HMO types:

  • A - Houses let as bedsits
  • B - Shared houses
  • C - Houses let as lodgings
  • D - Hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation
  • E - Residential care homes
  • F - Self-contained accommodation

Persons do not form a single household unless they are members of the same family or they form a prescribed relationship defined by regulations. 

A household refers to:

  • Single people, families, couples and same sex couples
  • other relationships, such as fostering, carers and domestic staff

Further information regarding HMO's can be read in the pdf icon Houses in Multiple Occupation - Amenity and Space Standards for Licensed and Non-Licensable Houses [475kb].

Register of HMO Licences 

What are the conditions of the licence?

You must be a fit and proper person to hold the licence. Other conditions control the way the HMO is managed, maintained and kept safe for the tenants. The HMO must be brought up to current standards before the licence can be issued.

Fees

Basic fee is £650 licences last for a period of up to 5 years and are not transferable.

Discounts and other fees may apply in certain circumstances. For a full list of the fees and discounts that may apply, please refer to the PDF document below. If you need any advice on this aspect or any other, please contact us. 

How do I apply?

Guidance

Before you apply, please ensure that you download, read and understand the guidance notes below:

Application form

You can download an application form below:

Completed application forms should be returned with the correct fee and documentation to the address at the bottom of the page.

How will you process my application?

We will acknowledge receipt of your application .

We will check to make sure that everything you have sent in is complete and correct. If so, we will arrange an inspection of the HMO with you, to let you know of any works that may be necessary before it can be licensed.

Once the HMO has been brought up to standard, we will notify of our decision regarding issue of the licence within 28 days (a schedule 5 notice).

If you do not supply the correct information, documents or fee, your application will be rejected until the outstanding issues are resolved.

Will tacit consent apply?

No, tacit consent will not apply. This is because it is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted.

If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us at the points below or if you applied online, through the UK Welcomes service.

Will my premises be inspected or assessed?

Yes. An officer will carry out a full inspection of the property with you, which will cover:

  • state of repair
  • provision of amenities
  • level of occupation
  • state of management
  • fire safety measures
  • the presence of any hazards under the health and safety rating system (HHSRS).

Contact us

To find out more about houses in multiple occupation licences, contact Customer Services.