Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

What is a House in Multiple Occupation?

A property (house or flat) that is occupied by 3 or more people who are from 2 or more households.  Being in the same household means related to each other (including adopted or fostered children), or living together as cohabiting couples.  There are some exemptions and you should contact us for further guidance.


Why do I need a licence?

If you rent out a property for house in multiple occupancy (HMO), you may require a licence. Currently HMOs with 5 or more occupants where the property is 3 or more storeys requires a licence. From 1st October 2018, any HMO with 5 or more occupants regardless of number of storeys in the property will require a licence.


What will I have to do?

If you rent a HMO which requires a licence you must complete the application form.  An online version is available on the website or you can contact us . There is a fee payable, please note that this can be paid by debit card via the online system or a cheque submitted.  We do not accept credit cards.

From 1 April 2020 there will be a two part fee structure in place. Part 1 of the licence fee is payable with the application and Part 2 is payable when a decision to grant a licence has been made.  For applications not made promptly, i.e. where a HMO has been operating for more than 3 months without a licence, an additional fee is payable.  You will be asked to submit evidence to show that the HMO has not been operating for longer than 3 months before date of application.


Part 1*

Part 2


New HMO licence




New HMO licence late application




HMO licence renewal




HMO licence renewal late application




* For HMOs above 5 rooms there is an additional £25 per room charge

(The HMO renewal rate applies only to HMOs being relicensed with the same licence holder.)

The property must meet certain standards and there must be arrangements in place to ensure that the property is maintained in good repair and condition.

If you are unsure if your property needs a licence, please contact us.


What happens in the application evaluation process?

We will carry out checks to ensure the person holding the licence and any managers are fit and proper to hold such a licence.  We will carry out an inspection of the property to assess if the house is or can be made suitable for multiple occupation and that management arrangements are satisfactory. Please see the Guidance on Standards for more information.


Will Tacit Consent apply?

No, the Council must process your application before the licence can be granted.  If you have not heard from us within a target completion period of 60 working days, please contact us.


Can I make my application online?

You can apply for a licence via the online system or by completing a paper application form and returning to us with the necessary documentation.  Please see the Application guidance notes available for download on this page for more details.

Alternatively, you can contact us for a paper version of the application form.

Please note that there have been reports of users not being able to open the pdf file despite having the latest version of Adobe Reader installed.  If this is the case, please ensure that you right click to save the pdf and then open the Adobe Reader application (from the Start menu on Windows, or from the Applications folder on Mac) and use the File > Open menu on your computer. If you see a ‘Please wait…’ message, it means you are using your web browser or another PDF viewer to open the PDF, which won’t allow you to fill it in.

What can I do if my application fails?

You will be given an opportunity to make representations about the Council decision to refuse a licence.  If the Council makes a final decision to refuse your application, you have the right to appeal to a First Tier Property Tribunal.

Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.


What can I do if I'm unhappy about the licence conditions?

You will be given an opportunity to make comments on the proposed licence conditions.  If you are still unhappy with the final licence conditions, you may appeal to a residential property tribunal regarding conditions attached to a licence.

Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.


What should I do if I have concerns about any HMO?

If you as a landlord, tenant or member of the public, have any concerns that a property is being used as an HMO then please contact us and we can investigate further to ensure that the appropriate standards are in place.