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Houses in multiple occupation licensing

A HMO needs to be licensed if there are five or more tenants living in the property, who are not all from one ‘household’ (for example, a family) but share facilities such as a toilet, a bathroom or a kitchen. It’s sometimes called a ‘house share’.

Landlord’s responsibility

Landlords are required to make sure the property is safe to live in and ensure repairs are carried out where necessary. You should contact planning to find out if planning permission is required for the property to be used as a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

All HMOs must be free from category 1 hazards as assessed under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). There are additional requirements covering adequate fire precautions, means of escape in case of fire and appropriate standards of management and facilities.

Fire safety

Fire safety is a concern in multi-occupied properties. The risk rises with increased occupancy, multiple ignition sources (like cooker, heaters, fires, and smoking), vulnerable occupants, poor construction and lack of fire prevention and detection measures. Please see the guidance document below:

How much does a licence cost?

A fee of £900 applies to each application made. 

Do I need a HMO licence?

From 1 October 2018 a HMO must have a licence if:

  • five tenants live there, who are not all from one ‘household’ (not a family)
  • the tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities. 

You can use our online form to check if you need to apply for a HMO licence. 

Apply for a HMO licence online

When applying for a licence, you will also need to submit a fit and proper person declaration form - see below.

Submit a fit and proper person declaration

You will need to have a valid 'Fit and proper person' declaration dated within the last 3 months when you apply for a HMO licence.