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.

Download the licence conditions to mandatory licensable properties

View more information about licensable HMO

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 three or four people living as two 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: 19/03/2021 11:33

  1. Introduction
  2. Do I need a licence?
  3. Guidance
  4. Contact