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 is valid for five years and there is a fee. The licence cannot relate to more than one property and is not transferable.

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 up to £20,000, and given a criminal record. They may have to repay the rent for the time the property is unlicensed.