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.

Report a change or variation to an existing HMO licence

You must apply for a Variation to your HMO licences if:

  • The current owner or manager changes their name or address
  • You would like to increase the maximum number of occupiers
  • There are substantial changes to the property layout or accommodation
  • There is a change in management arrangements

The application form can be downloaded from this page or you may request a printed application form by email.  Please consult the application guidance notes for help in completing your application or call us for assistance:

There is no fee for reporting a variation to your HMO Licence.

Who should report a variation to a HMO Licence?

Only the current licence holder can report a variation to their HMO Licence.

What will I need before I report a variation to my HMO Licence?

Before you report your variation, please gather the following evidence:

  • Both the owner and the manager need to agree to the variation. A signed letter is required if the applicant is not acting as both owner and manager.
  • For substantial layout changes, an up to date floor plan is required. This doesn’t need to be to scale, but should indicate the use of all rooms and the presence of all fire precaution equipment. This can be hand drawn but a photo of the drawing will need to be uploaded to your application.

Changes to the property

If the number of bedrooms in a house in multiple occupation has been increased, the landlord/agent will need to apply to vary the terms and conditions of the licence.  Alterations made may require additional facilities.  Application to vary the licence will not incur charges but it is necessary to state variations made on an application form.

Changes in managing agent or licence holder

Licences are not transferable. To change a licence holder, the licence will need to be revoked and the proposed new licence holder should apply for a licence in their own right.

If the managing agent is the HMO licence holder, the licence will need to be revoked and the new managing agent will have to apply for a licence in their own right.

Should the managing agent change, but is not the licence holder, the licence and public register will need to be updated to show the new manager.

Selling the property

Licences are not transferable.  Should the licence holder sell the HMO, the licence will be revoked.  A new owner would need to apply for a licence in their own right if it is to continue to be rented as a licensable HMO.

Converting the HMO back to a single family dwelling

A request can be made to the council to revoke the licence, or the licence can be allowed to run until it expires.  The council should then be notified that it will not be renewed.


Last Updated: 4 May 2022