Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

We have responsibilities for licensing certain Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

What is an HMO?

A property is an HMO if it is let as a main or only home to at least three tenants, who form more than one household (i.e. they are not related or living as couple) and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.  You may need a licence to rent out an HMO, especially if your property is a house share, divided into bedsits or a hostel.

Licensing an HMO

You will need an HMO licence if you rent out, or plan to rent out a property where different households share a kitchen or bathroom and the property will be occupied by five or more people and the property is at least three storeys high.

Apply for a licence or renew an existing one

Complete an application form and pay the application fee of £476.50 for a five-year licence.  We will visit the property and decide if it meets an acceptable standard and if it does, the property will be registered as a licensed HMO.

If you rent out a licensable HMO without a licence, we can take you to court and you could be fined up to £20,000.

Checking HMO standards

We carry out routine inspections of all known, licensable HMOs in the Borough.  If conditions are not up to the required standards, then the landlord is required to improve them.  If you don’t comply with the conditions attached to a licence you could be prosecuted and fined up to £5,000 for each offence.

Support for landlords

We can offer advice to landlords to help you make sure that the building is safe, in good repair and has adequate means of detecting and escaping from fire.  If landlords want to set up a new HMO, our officers can visit and give advice on what requirements will need to be met.

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