In October 2018 the legislation changed for the mandatory licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
The storey-height criteria was removed which means that:
- any HMO that is occupied by three or four persons, who form two or more separate households, and who share basic amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet, will require an additional licence.
- any mandatory 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 HMO licence (see below).
- a HMO as a building or part of a building which has been converted into, and consists of, self-contained flats requires a section 257 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. It may include bedsits, shared houses and some self-contained flats.
Houses fully converted into self-contained flats will generally not be HMOs. However this depends on them being converted according to appropriate Building Regulation standards; as a minimum 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: £1623
- Renewal to cover the administration and inspection costs of the licence procedure: £1150
- Renewal with material change: £1623
Self contained properties
- New application (per unit): £335
- Renewal application: £239
- Renewal application with material change (per unit): £335
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.
Please note that licences expire after five years.
Section 257 of the Housing Act 2004 applies to whole converted properties rather than individual dwellings. It describes a HMO as a building or part of a building which has been converted into, and consists of, self-contained flats. Moreover, less than two thirds are owner-occupied, and the conversion work did not comply, and still does not comply with the appropriate building standards. This would usually be the 1991 Building Regulations.