Houses in multiple occupation

Licensing of houses in multiple occupation

A house of multiple occupation requires a licence by law when:

  • It is three or more storeys high AND
  • Has five or more people in more than one household AND
  • Share amenities such as bathrooms, toilets and cooking facilities

If you own or manage an HMO which falls under the mandatory licensing scheme, you must complete and return an HMO licensing application form. The licence is valid for five years and costs £500. A licence cannot relate to more than one property and is not transferable.

We will grant you a licence if we are satisfied that:

  • The proposed licence holder (which can be the landlord or managing agent) are 'fit and proper' people
  • The property and the tenancy are managed appropriately
  • The accommodation meets all minimum standards such as sufficient number of toilets, kitchens and bathrooms for the number of residents

Landlords and/or agents failing to apply for a licence may face fines of up to £20,000, a criminal record and in certain situations can be made to repay the rent for the time the property is unlicensed.