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Information for Landlords

Housing of Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

What is a HMO?

A HMO is a building or part of a building:

  • In which three or more unrelated people share an amenity (or the building lacks an amenity) such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities; or
  • Which is a converted building that does not entirely comprise self contained flats (whether or not there is also sharing or a lack of amenities); or
  • Which is comprised entirely of converted self contained flats and where the standard of conversion does not meet the minimum that is required by the 1991 building regulations, and more than one third of the flats are occupied under short tenancies (Section 257 HMOs).

Which properties need a HMO license?

From 1 October 2018, a property will require a license if:

  • It is let to five or more people, forming two or more households
  • Has any number of storeys
  • Tenants share at least one facility such as a bathroom or a kitchen or the accommodation lacks one of these amenities.

Prior to 1 October 2018, only properties which met the above criteria and had three or more storeys required a license. HMOs that have already been granted a license under the existing legislation do not need to reapply for a license until their current one expires.
Landlords who operate a licensable HMO without a license are committing an offence and may be prosecuted.

Applying for a HMO License

If you think that you have a property that needs to be licensed, please download and complete the application form below:

Download a HMO license application form

Alterantively, you can contact the Private Sector Housing team on 0303 123 1702 or email

With your application you must also provide:

  • The appropriate license fee
  • A floor plan of the property indicating room sizes, location of the bathroom, toilet and kitchen facilities plus the position of smoke alarms, emergency lighting units and fire doors  
  • A current gas safety certificate (if the property has a gas supply)
  • A valid electrical test certificate 
  • A portable appliance test certificate for any electrical equipment you supply as part of the tenancy
  • A declaration that all upholstered furniture supplied complies with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety Regulations) 1988.

For 2018/19 the standard licence fee has been set at £400.82 with an additional £30.40 for each letting room over five. A licence is normally valid for five years.


Other information for landlords

Additional information for landlords can be found on the Government website using the link below:

Landlord information .gov website