Mandatory House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing

Mandatory House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing

You need to apply for a licence if you're a landlord of a licensable House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). This means the property meets certain standards and is safe and suitable for the number of people who live there.

Your property is a licensable HMO if all of the following apply:

  • it's rented to five or more people from two or more households
  • it has shared facilities like a kitchen, bathroom or laundry room

A household is a family, cohabiting couple or separate individuals. For example five friends are five households, even if they share a tenancy.

You can apply online for a licence.

Changes to mandatory licensing

At the moment it's only HMOs with three or more storeys and five or more people  that need a mandatory licence.

From 1 October 2018 HMOs that are occupied by five or more people with any number of storeys will be licensable.

This means that flats or converted flats on any number or storeys, will become licensable.

Licensing will also apply to blocks of purpose-built flats where there are up to two flats in the block and one or both are occupied as an HMO.

You can apply online now. Applications must be received by midnight on 30th September 2018 or could result in legal action and financial penalties.


We’re reviewing the way we charge fees for a property licence.

You still need to submit your application using our property licence application form.

After you have submitted your application we will contact you to arrange payment.

Standards and conditions

Fire safety guidance

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

This means 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.