Any rental property occupied by five or more tenants as their only or main residence must be licensed if the tenants share kitchen or bathroom facilities. The property can occupy any number of floors.
This follows a change in the law regarding the licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) under the provisions of the Housing Act 2004.
To apply, print, complete and return an application form:
Alternatively you can apply online on the GOV.UK website.
Variation, renewal and exemption forms
- Application for a temporary exemption to a licence for a house in multiple occupation [RTF, 444KB]
- Application for a variation of a licence for a house in multiple occupation [PDF, 97KB]
- Application to change a licence for a house in multiple occupation [GOV.UK]
- Application to renew a licence for a house in multiple occupation [GOV.UK]
There are two fees to pay:
- Fee on application: £630
- Fee on grant of licence: £320
The fee on application, which covers the cost of administration, must be made with the application.
The fee on grant of licence covers the cost of the overall management and enforcement of the licence. It is payable just before the licence is granted – you will be reminded to pay when you receive the draft licence.
If you apply to renew your licence at least eight weeks before your current licence expires, the fee on application is reduced to £535. As with first-time applications, we’ll remind you to pay the remaining £320 when you receive the draft licence.
If you require an invoice, we’ll apply an administration charge of £27 including VAT to each invoice raised.
After a licence has been granted, a refund will only be given in exceptional circumstances at our discretion. The fees are calculated to cover our costs, which may have already been incurred.
Details of payment methods are listed on page 10 of the application to licence a house in multiple occupation (above).
We aim to process licence applications within six weeks of receipt of the form and fee on application.
Following recent changes to the Housing Act extending the scope of HMO licensing, we are receiving high numbers of applications. We are processing these as quickly as possible, but in some cases this might take longer than our usual six-week guideline. If you have submitted an application there is no need to contact us further at this stage unless absolutely necessary. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.
Licences will be granted if:
- the house is or can be made suitable for multiple occupation
- the applicant is a fit and proper person and the most appropriate person to hold the licence
- the proposed manager has control of the house, and is a fit and proper person to be the manager
- the management arrangements are satisfactory.
Please note that extra conditions may be added to individual licenses as necessary, eg a formal licence condition to prove competence in property management.
You should contact us directly in the first instance if you have an issue or query regarding an HMO licence application.
You can appeal a decision regarding a licence to the First–tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.