Mandatory House in Multiple Occupation Licences

Find out if you need a HMO licence

A HMO licence is needed if a property:

  • has three storeys or more (including cellars, attics, basements, mezzanine floors and loft conversions) and
  • is occupied by five or more people from two or more households and
  • has tenants who share some amenities like kitchen, bathroom or laundry
  • in some cases a maisonette in a house or above commercial premises may need a licence if similarly occupied.

Apply for an HMO licence


There is a cost for this licence 

Mandatory Houses in Multiple Occupation licensing fees (pdf, 36k) (opens new window)

Pay for your licence at pay council bills, fines and permits online.

If you want to pay by cheque, send these to: 

Private Housing Team (100TS), Bristol City Council, PO Box 3176, Bristol, BS3 9FS. 

Write the property address or UPRN on the reverse of the cheque. Make the cheque payable to Bristol City Council.

An application for a property licence is not valid, and is not considered to be a full application, until the application and full payment of the licence fee is received.

Fit and proper person declaration

Each additional person involved in the management of property requiring a licence under the Housing Act 2004 needs to complete the fit and proper person declaration form.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. Please contact us at any time after submitting your licence application.

Why HMOs are licensed

Further guidance

Fire safety guidance

The government has issued fire safety guidance to help us comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO).

The intention of this guidance is to ensure that there is a consistent risk assessment approach in private rented properties by fire services and councils. Compliance with the guidance will also satisfy the HMO licensing requirement.

Guidance on fire safety provisions for certain types of housing.

Fire Safety Standards in Mandatory Licensable HMOs (pdf, 74k) (opens new window)

Consumer complaint

If a licence is granted and you wish to appeal against it being granted you may appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) within 28 days of the decision being made.

Further guidance