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Licences for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

The legislation regarding the mandatory licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) changed in October 2018.

The storey-height criteria was removed, which means any HMO that is occupied by five or more persons who form two or more separate households, and who share basic amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet, will require a licence.

The government has introduced the following conditions:

  • a minimum floor area for any bedroom occupied by a single person of 6.51m²
  • a minimum floor area for any bedroom occupied by two persons of 10.22m²
  • a minimum floor area for any bedroom occupied by a single person under 10 years of age to be 4.64m²
  • landlords and agents to have appropriate arrangements in place for the storage and disposal of household waste, pending collection

Any part of the floor area of a room in which the height of the ceiling is less than 1.5 metres is not to be taken into account in determining the floor area of that room for the purposes of this paragraph. For further information see HMO Standards and Regulations.

The definition of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is detailed and complex. Generally a house in multiple occupation will be a property occupied by more than one household and more than two people, and may include bedsits, shared houses and some self-contained flats.

Houses fully converted into self-contained flats will generally not be HMOs provided that they were/are converted in accordance with the appropriate Building Regulation standards.

This will as a minimum be the 1991 Building Regulations. See a definition of HMOs.

For further details see Houses in Multiple Occupation and Selective Licensing Policy.

Fees for HMO licences

Landlords and agents:

  • New applications - £1310 (£1405 from 5th April 2021)
  • Renewal to cover the administration and inspection costs of the licence procedure - £930 (£997 from 5th April 2021)
  • Renewal with material change £1310 (£1405 from 5th April 2021)

Self contained properties:

  • New application (per unit) - £270 (£290 from 5th April 2021)
  • Renewal application - £193 (£207 from 5th April 2021)
  • Renewal application with material change (per unit) - £270 (£290 from 5th April 2021)

There is a discount on the first application for landlords who are currently members of an accredited scheme. The discount is £75 off the original fee.

If you submit an incomplete application form or if there are any missing required documents, your application will be rejected.

If HMO renewals are due and you submit an incomplete application and your licence has expired during the application process, the full fee will be charged and not the renewal fee.

Apply for a HMO licence

Prior to completing the form please read the guidance notes.

Start your application for a HMO licence

Please note that licences expire after five years.

Apply for Section 257 HMO’s (Self-Contained Units)

Section 257 of the Housing Act 2004 applies to whole converted properties rather than individual dwellings and describes a HMO as a building or part of a building which has been converted into and consists of self-contained flats of which less than two thirds are owner-occupied, and the conversion work did not comply with the appropriate building standards (Usually the 1991 Building Regulations) and still does not comply.

Apply for Section 257 HMO licence

Licensing registers