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.

Refused HMO applications


If the council decides that the landlord is not a ‘fit and proper person’, or the property fails to meet the conditions, and there is no reasonable prospect of appointing an alternative licence holder, or bringing the property up to standard within an acceptable time period, the council may refuse to issue a licence for a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

In this situation, it may be necessary for the council to issue an Interim Management Order (IMO).  This allows the council to intervene and manage the property, including collecting the rent.  This order may last for a year or until suitable permanent arrangements can be made.  If the IMO expires and there is no likelihood of a positive change in the circumstances, then the council can issue a Final Management Order (FMO).  This removes the property from the control of the owner for a period of five years, or for a time which can be reviewed.

The landlord may appeal a refused application if the council:

  • Decides to refuse a licence
  • Grants a licence with additional conditions
  • Revokes a licence
  • Varies a licence, or
  • Refuses to vary a licence

You must appeal to the First-tier Tribunal, normally within 28 days.

Last Updated: 4 May 2022