Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licensing

If you rent out a property that is a house in multiple occupation (HMO), you may require a licence from your local authority. You will also need to apply for planning permission to change the usage of the property to a HMO.

Who needs a HMO licence

From 1 October 2018 all HMOs occupied by five or more people who are not all related, and where there is some sharing of facilities,  require a HMO licence. 

Who must hold the licence?

The landlord (owner) or someone they nominate (such as a manager or agent) provided that person is in agreement.  To grant a licence, we must be satisfied that:

  • The proposed licence holder and any manager of the property are ‘fit and proper’ persons to hold the licence or manage the HMO
  • The proposed licence holder is the most appropriate person to hold the licence
  • Satisfactory management standards are in place.
  • The HMO is reasonably suitable, or can be made suitable, for occupation by the number of tenants allowed under the licence and has at least the minimum prescribed standards of amenities and facilities (including the number, type and quality of shared bathrooms, toilets and cooking facilities). 

Fit and proper person

When deciding if the licence holder or manager is ‘fit and proper, we will consider:

  • Any previous convictions relating to violence, sexual offences, drugs and fraud
  • Whether the proposed licence holder has broken any laws relating to housing or landlord and tenant issues
  • Whether the person has been found guilty of unlawful discrimination
  • Whether the person has previously managed HMOs that have breached any approved code of practice.

Last Updated: 4 May 2022