Licensing of houses in multiple occupation

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a building, or part of a building such as a flat, that:

  • more than one household lives in and shares an amenity, such as cooking facilities or a toilet
  • is a converted building that does not entirely comprise self-contained flats
  • has been converted to self-contained flats, does not meet the standard required by the 1991 Building Regulations, and less than two thirds of the flats are owner-occupied

Landlords must licence a property if:

  • it is occupied by five or more people forming two or more separate households, or
  • it is a purpose-built flat in a block of up to two flats and occupied as an HMO by five or more people

A household is defined as either a single person or members of the same family who are living together.

Check our licence register to see all current HMO licences.


To apply, print, complete and return an application form:

You can also apply online on the GOV.UK website.

Variation, renewal and exemption forms

Tell us about a house in multiple occupation

If you think you may be living in an HMO or know where one is, please let us know about it so we can check whether it's already in our records.

Fee structure

The following schedule of fees and discounts applies to all applications due from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025.

The HMO mandatory licence fee is £1,068. This is reduced to £961 if you apply at least 8 weeks before your current licence expires.

There are two fees to pay:

  • Fee on application: £697
  • Fee on grant of licence: £371

You must pay the fee on application, which covers the cost of administration, with your 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 – we will remind you to pay when you receive the draft licence.

If you apply to renew your licence by submitting a full and complete application at least 8 weeks before your current licence expires, the fee on application is reduced to £590. As with first-time applications, we’ll remind you to pay the remaining £371 when you receive the draft licence.

After a licence has been granted, we will only give a refund 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 6 weeks of receipt of a full and complete application and fee.

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.

We might add extra conditions to individual licenses as necessary, such as a formal licence condition to prove competence in property management.

We send a list of licenced HMOs to our planning enforcement team every week. You can check your property’s planning status, including any applications.

HMOs with seven or more tenants

If your HMO has seven or more tenants, it requires planning and building control permission.

Contact us at if you do not have this.

Building regulations

You need building regulations approval if you are:

  • changing use of your property to an HMO for seven or more people
  • renovating your property, including:
    • plumbing and electrical work
    • installing thermal insulation
    • making structural alterations
    • building an extension

Find out more about building regulations and building regulations approval.


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.

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