I want to apply for, or renew, my house in multiple occupation (HMO) licence

What is an HMO?

If you want to rent out your property as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) you will need a licence from the Council. An HMO is sometimes called a ‘house share’. It is a legal requirement for an HMO to be licensed. Failure to do so can result in civil penalty notices of up to £30,000 per offence.

A rented property is an HMO if the property is the tenant's only or main residence for the duration of the rental period, and either:

  • there are five or more occupants who make up two or more households and share a kitchen bathroom or toilet
  • it is a building that is converted into self-contained flats and the conversion did not meet the 1991 Building Regulation standards and more than one-third of the flats are let on short term tenancies

Properties let to students and migrant workers will be treated as their only or main residence. The same applies to properties that are used as domestic refuges.

Why does it matter?

The risk of management problems is usually higher in HMOs because they are let to several people. There are management regulations that place additional duties on HMO owners, managers and tenants. You can find more information on HMOs here.