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Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and Licensing

Under the Housing Act 2004, a property which fulfils the criteria listed below will be defined as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

  • An entire house or flat which is let to three or more tenants who form two or more households, and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.
  • A house which has been converted entirely into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and which is let to three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities.
  • A converted house which contains one or more flats which are not wholly self contained (ie the flat does not contain within it a kitchen, bathroom and toilet) and which is occupied by three or more persons who form two or more households.
  • A building which is converted entirely into self-contained flats,and the conversion did not meet the standards of the 1991 Building Regulations and more than one-third of the flats are let on short-term tenancies

In order to be an HMO the property must be used as the tenants' only or main residence, and it should be used solely or mainly to house tenants. Properties let to students and migrant workers will be treated as their only or main residence, and the same will apply to properties which are used as domestic refuges .

Licensable HMOs

Certain types of HMOs are also required to be licensed by the Council.  A HMO will require a licence if all 3 of the following criteria are met.

•             The property meets the standard test, the self-contained flat test, or the converted building test (Section 254 of the

              Housing Act 2004).

•             The property is occupied by 5 or more people.

•             The property is occupied by persons living in two or more separate households.

If you require advice as to whether a property requires a license, please contact the Housing Standards team.


Licence Fees

The Council has determined that the following charges will be applied:-

New Licence - £660 for up to 5 units. £60 for each additional unit.

Renewal of existing licence - £480 for up to 5 units. £60 for each additional unit.

Variation of existing licence - £120

Each licence will be issued for a maximum of 3 years and no licence will be issued until the appropriate sum has been paid.


Public Register of Licensed HMOs

In accordance with the provisions of the Housing Act, the Council also maintains a register of licensed HMOs, this document is available to members of the public on request.  If you would like to request a printed copy of this document contact the Housing Standards department, please note that a fee is payable for a printed copy.

There is no charge to view/download a PDF version of this document.  This can viewed via the following link. Public Register (PDF) [1004KB] (opens new window)

(Please note that the Schedule of HMO Licence Conditions, mentioned within this register, can be viewed by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.)