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  3. Private housing
  4. Houses in multiple occupation

Houses in multiple occupation

Houses that are occupied by three or more people who do not live as a single household are known as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO), for example:

  • bedsits
  • shared houses and lodgings
  • employment or educational accommodation
  • shared accommodation for homeless people
  • residential care homes and similar establishments

Houses in Multiple Occupation must be licensed if they are

  • rented to five or more people who form more than one household
  • tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities

Currently, you require a licence if the above applies and additionally the property is

  • Three or more storeys high (includes cellars, basements and loft conversions)

You can be get an unlimited fine for renting out an unlicensed HMO.  

Licences will be given if the:

  • house is or can be made suitable for multiple occupation
  • applicant is the most appropriate person to hold the licence
  • proposed manager has control of the house and is the best person to be the manager
  • management arrangements are satisfactory.

Licence fee and application

The overall fee for a three year approved licence is £620. 

HMO Licences are split into 2 parts. To make an application there is a fee of £262. If your application is successful, you will receive an invoice for £358 for the licence issue fee.

The application fee is not refundable.

Approval of the HMO licence

We will aim to decide your application within 16 weeks of receipt of a complete application.

You cannot assume that the licence has been automatically granted if the 16 week period has passed. It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted. If we are unable to come to a decision within 16 weeks, we will contact you with further advice.  

The licence for your HMO is valid for a maximum of three years and you will need to apply for another licence before the current one expires.