Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

What is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?

A House in Multiple Occupation is a house or flat occupied by three or more people forming two or more 'households' (e.g. individuals or families) who share facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom. For example, an HMO could be:

  • a group of individuals sharing a house or flat
  • individuals living in bedsit accommodation
  • a property that has been converted into self-contained flats.

What standards are required in HMOs?

All HMOs must meet certain standards which are detailed in the following documents:

  • Guide to Fire Safety in Houses in Multiple Occupation
  • Management regulations
  • Amenity standards in HMOs

These can be downloaded from the Documents section.

Some HMOs also require a licence.

When is an HMO Licence required?

You must apply for an HMO licence if your property has three or more storeys and is occupied by five or more people.

How do I apply?

Before making an application, please download and read the HMO licence application guidance in the Documents section. You can then make an application online.

If I already have a licence and it's due to expire, how do I renew it?

You can make an application to renew your current licence online.

What is the application procedure?

Once we have received your application form and fee, we will check to see if we have everything we need for a valid application. 

  • A fully completed application form
  • All required supporting documents
  • Payment of the licence fee

Once the application is considered valid, we will contact you to arrange an inspection of the property. We may also consult with other departments or Councils to check that the proposed licence holder and manager are 'fit and proper' persons.

Providing nothing is identified at the inspection or during the consultation, we will send a notice of intention to grant a licence to all relevant parties.

If no representations are received within 21 days, we will then issue the licence.

How much does it cost?

There is a fee payable to cover the cost of processing the licence application and inspecting the property. 

Please see our list of fees and charges for the current fee for an application or renewal.

How do I pay?

You will be able to pay with a credit or debit card when you submit your application online.

How long will it take to get my licence?

It typically takes three months to process a straight-forward application.

How long is the licence valid for?

A licence will normally last for a maximum of five years. 

I would like to change my licence, what do I do?

You must inform us of any changes to the licence holder or manager, which includes a change of address.  If you wish to amend the number of people on your licence, then we will need to carry out an inspection to check on room sizes and amenities.

You can make an application to change your licence online.

Do I need planning permission and building regulation approval to convert my house to a HMO?

Planning permission and building regulation approval may be required in certain circumstances for example:

  • for conversions, extensions and structural alterations
  • a change of use from a single family dwelling
  • use of a property as an HMO for seven of more tenants.

Please contact our Planning and Building Control department on Tel: 01992 785555 for further advice.