Licensing of houses in multiple occupation

The licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) was introduced in the Housing Act 2004 to make sure that:

  • landlords of HMOs are fit and proper people, or employ managers who are
  • each HMO is suitable for occupation by the number of people allowed under the licence
  • the standard of management of the HMO is adequate
  • high-risk HMOs can be identified and targeted for improvement.

Where landlords refuse to meet these criteria, we can intervene and manage the property so that vulnerable tenants can be protected.

Larger HMOs that are three or more storeys high and are occupied by five or more people in two or more households require a mandatory licence.


You can download the relevant application form from the Businesslink website:

Or you can download the following documents to print, complete and return to Housing Standards:

Fee Structure

The following fees and discounts will apply to all applications due from 1 April 2018:

HMOs up to and including nine rooms

  • Initial application: £580
  • Renewal: £470

HMOs with 10 or more rooms

  • Initial application: £640
  • Renewal: £530

Should an invoice be required for payment of these fees, an additional administration charge of £27 will apply.

A licence is valid for five years unless stated otherwise, but is not transferable.


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.

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