Houses in multiple occupation

Do I need a licence?

You need a licence if all of the following apply:

  • It is at least 3 storeys high
  • At least 5 tenants live there, making more than 1 household
  • Toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities are shared with other tenants

From 1 October 2018, these rules will be extended, and will also include:

  • all HMOs with 5 or more tenants, making up 2 or more households, and which share some facilities regardless of how many storeys there are
  • purpose built flats with up to 2 flats in the block, where 1 or both of the flats are occupied by 5 or more people making 2 or more households. This will apply if the flat is above commercial premises or is in a residential block

All landlords and agents with properties which meet these new criteria will have to have a licence by the 1 October 2018.

You must complete and return an HMO licensing application form. The licence cannot relate to more than one property and is not transferable. The licence is valid for five years and there is a fee.

Licence fee

The licence fee is in 2 parts:

  • Application fee of £505
  • Licence fee of £249
  • Total fee for up to 10 rooms is £754
  • For additional rooms over 10, there is a cost of £21 per additional room

When counting rooms, we look at bedrooms, living rooms, communal rooms. We don't count bathrooms and toilets.

Giving you a licence

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

  • the proposed licence holder/s are 'fit and proper' people
  • the property and the tenancy are managed appropriately
  • the accommodation meets all minimum standards

Landlords and/or agents who don't apply for a licence can be fined an unlimited amount, and given a criminal record. They may have to repay the rent for the time the property is unlicensed.