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.

Fees for HMO licences

Landlords and agents:

  • New applications - £1310
  • Renewal to cover the administration and inspection costs of the licence procedure - £930
  • Renewal with material change £1310

Self contained properties:

  • New application (per unit) - £270
  • Renewal application - £193
  • Renewal application with material change (per unit) - £270

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.


Prior to completing the form please read the guidance notes.


Licences expire after five years.

Licensing registers