Houses in multiple occupancy (HMO's)

Licensable HMO's

A privately let property of three or more storey's with five or more persons who form two or more households is a HMO which requires a mandatory licence (Housing Act 2004).

However, on the 1 October 2018, all houses in multiple occupation (HMO's) which are occupied by five or more persons living as two or more households will require a mandatory licence. This is required irrespective of the property and number of stories.

These changes have been implemented by Central Government and will come into force on 1 October 2018, this means that you must apply for a licence before 1 October 2018.

From 1 October 2018 it will be an offence to manage and/or control a property which is required to be licenced, but is not so licensed. If found to be operating and/or managing a HMO without a licence, the relevant persons can be prosecuted or issued with a fixed penalty of up to £30,000.

View the licence conditions which currently apply to mandatory licensable properties.

For more information please view the licensable HMO page.

Certain properties which may meet the licensing criteria are exempt from licensing, these include:

  • Local Authority owned properties (freehold or leasehold)
  • Properties owned or managed by public bodies such as:
    • registered social landlords
    • health service bodies
    • police authorities.
  • Properties regulated by other legislation such as:
    • care homes
    • nursing homes
    • children's homes.

Non-licensable HMO's

HMO's with 3 or 4 people living as 2 or more households will not require a licence after this date, however the accommodation will be regarded as a non-licensable HMO and fire safety measures, local amenity standards and HMO management regulations will still apply.

Last updated: 18/03/2020 09:07

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