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

HMO licence - the law has changed

By 1 October 2018 Houses in Multiple Occupation must be licensed if they are

  • rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 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 fined 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
  • the applicant is the most appropriate person to hold the licence
  • the proposed manager has control of the house and is the best person to be the manager
  • the management arrangements are satisfactory.

Licence Fees

Type of fee Amount
Application  £262
Issue of approved licence £358
Total £620

The overall fee for a 3 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 from the Council for the licence issue fee, this fee is £358. Your licence will not be granted until this invoice has been paid.

We will not refund any fees.

Apply for a HMO licence

Please note: applying online works best when using Internet Explorer. If you are a user of Chrome you will require the 'Acrobat Reader Chrome Extension'. To download this extension please visit the Adobe website.

To apply by post, please download the HMO application form, and send to Operational Services, Environmental & Regulatory Services, Forest of Dean District Council, High Street, Coleford, GL16 8HG, with a cheque payable to 'Forest of Dean District Council',

Or payment can be made by phoning 01594 810000.

Approval of the HMO licence

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

Tacit consent does not apply, therefore, you cannot assume that the licence has been automatically granted if the 16 week period has passed. It is in the public interest that the Council must 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.