Houses in multiple occupation (HMO) licence

You need a licence if:

  • You rent out a property to 5 or more tenants, who form more than one ‘household’; and
  • They share a toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities

A ‘household’ is defined as:

  • A family eg, a couple or relatives;
  • A person and their carer;
  • A foster child and their parent

If you need a licence but do not have one, you can be fined up to £20,000 and your tenants may be able to claim back rent they have paid.

Apply for a licence

Before making an application, we would recommend reading:

The Housing – Fire Safety guidance published by LACORS
The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006

You must complete the application form and send it to us with the following:

  • Fire alarm test/commissioning certificate as required by British Standard 5839;
  • Emergency lighting test/fire extinguisher commissioning certificate;
  • Gas Safety certificate;
  • Periodic test certificate for electrical installation (every 5 years);
  • Scale layout plan of property;
  • Portable appliance testing certificate for appliances provided by Landlord;
  • Copy of the Tenancy agreement;
  • The application fee.

The standard fee to apply for a new licence, for a property with up to 5 households is £662.46. There is an additional fee of £31 to be paid for each additional household.

We will issue a licence If we are satisfied that:

  • The property is reasonably suitable for the number of people allowed and meets our minimum standards for toilets, bathrooms, kitchen facilities etc.;
  • There are adequate management arrangements in place;
  • There are adequate finances to manage the property;
  • We consider the you to be ‘fit and proper’;
  • We consider the manager, if there is one, to be ‘fit and proper’ and competent.

In deciding whether a person is ‘fit and proper’, we will take into account:

  • Any previous convictions relating to violence, sexual offences, drugs, fraud and discrimination;
  • Any previous breaches of housing or landlord and tenant laws;
  • Any breaches of HMO approved codes of practice.

Once issued, a licence will last for up to 5 years. It may be issued for less than 5 years if there are works required at the property.

There are certain conditions attached to all licences, which are that licence holders must:

  • Produce a gas safety certificate to us annually;
  • Keep any electrical appliances and furniture provided in a safe condition;
  • Ensure smoke alarms are installed and kept in proper working order;
  • Supply tenants with a written statement of the terms of their tenancy.

We can also attach certain conditions of our own to a licence, which are specific to your property. You can appeal to the Residential Property Tribunal if we decide to attach our own conditions to a licence or refuse one completely. If that were the case, we would provide you details of how to appeal.

We will visit your property to ensure these conditions are being met and that there are no serious hazards as identified in the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

Renew a licence

If you already hold a licence, we would recommend you apply to renew it no later than 2 months before it is due to expire.

The standard fee to renew a licence, for a property with up to 5 households is £423.96. There is an additional fee of £31 to be paid for each additional household.