Houses in Multiple Occupation Licensing
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Houses in Multiple Occupation Licensing

Mandatory Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) 

If you are a private landlord/managing agent and let out a property as a licensable HMO, that property must have a valid licence issued by the council. A licensable HMO is one where the property:

  • Comprises 3 or more storeys;
  • Has 5 or more unrelated occupiers (consisting of 2 or more households) and;
  • Who share an amenity such as a kitchen, toilet, bathroom or lounge.

If the property consists of a mixture of self-contained flats and flats where the tenant has to go out of their flat usually through a communal area to make use of an amenity as described above (whether for their exclusive use or not), then this may require a HMO licence. In addition, properties let above commercial premises may require a HMO licence.​

Click to expandHow do I apply for a licence?

A house in multiple occupancy application form is provided in the Documents section entitled 'HMO Licence App'. Please complete this and send it to us along with a floor plan of the property. A fee will be charged for this service. Do not enclose any payment. You will be invoiced after you have submitted your application and we have checked that everything is in order. If you wish to renew an existing licence which has not yet expired, complete the 'HMO Renewal App'.

Click to expandHow much does the HMO licence cost?

Click on the ‘HMO Licence Fees’ button in ‘Related Pages’.​

Click to expandWhat happens after I’ve paid my fee?

We process your application which involves sending you and any partners/consultees a draft licence. We have to wait 16 days before we can issue you with a final licence. After you receive your final licence you have a further 28 days to make representations.

Click to expandHow long does it take to process my application?

Taking into account the statutory consultation periods, we can usually have a licence issued within 6 weeks from receipt. If your application is incomplete or you do not pay your fee promptly, then it can take longer. We will not process your application until you have paid your fee. Your licence will not be valid until the fee is paid and as such, you could potentially be operating a licensable HMO without a licence or without having made a valid application.

Click to expandHow do I make changes to my licence once it is issued?

If you wish to make any changes you must formally apply to us before these changes take place. A variation form for you to do this is provided in the Documents section. 

Changes do not include transfer of licence. Where a licensed property changes ownership, the new landlord must make a full application for a new licence in his/her name. No repayment of the licence fee will be made to the existing licence holder for any unexpired perio of the licence. A reduced fee will be required from the new applicant which reflects the work already undertaken in respect of the property. This fee will depend on the time taken to process the new application and will be subject to a minimum charge of at least £175.​​​

Click to expandCheck the Register

If you manage or operate a licensable property without a licence (or without having made a valid application) you will be breaking the law. Check on the 'Houses in Multiple Occupation Register of Licences Issued' in the 'Related Pages' section to see if a licence has been issued. If you are a managing agent do NOT agree to manage a licensable HMO until you have confirmed a licence has been issued and is valid. If you manage an unlicensed property, you will be breaking the law.

Click to expandHMO Licensing - Building control and planning

The granting of a HMO licence is governed by The Housing Act 2004 which is separate from planning legislation. As such, a decision to grant a HMO licence under the Housing Act 2004 will have no bearing on any decisions made in the planning process. Therefore, you must seek separate advice on this matter. Further information regarding Planning and the Article 4 Directive can be found in our HMO - Article 4 direction page.

For further information contact the HMO Licensing Team: Tel: 0113 378 4698.​​​

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