Houses in multiple occupation
What is a house in multiple occupation (HMO)?
An HMO is a house or flat that is occupied as a main residence, by more than one household, where occupiers share facilities such as kitchens, bathrooms and WCs. This would include, for example, houses containing bedsits, a combination of bedsits and self-contained flats where the bedsits share facilities, and also shared houses and hostels.
In addition, houses entirely converted into self-contained flats not in strict compliance with the Building Regulations 1991, with at least one third occupied as flats on short tenancies are classed as HMOs.
To assist with working out the requirements for your individual property please view our HMO Amenity Standards.
Which types of HMO need a licence?
Nationally, HMOs comprising three or more storeys (including any commercial element), occupied by five or more people, in two or more households, must obtain a licence. This is a mandatory government requirement.
If you're unsure of the status of your property, please contact the Community Protection Team using the contact details on this page.
Are any properties exempt?
Certain types of property are exempt from licensing, and these are:
- Local authority-owned properties, whether freehold or leasehold
- Properties owned or managed by public bodies, such as registered social landlords, health service bodies or police authorities, and properties regulated by other legislation, for instance care homes, children's homes and bail houses
Applying for a licence
If you'd like to apply for an HMO licence, please complete the application form and return it to us. If you'd like to renew a licence, please complete the renewal form along with payment to cover the fee of £500 up to six units, and an further £75 per each additional unit over six.
Should you require further information please contact the Community Protection Team.