Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing
Which HMOs must be licenced?
The law around HMO Licencing is changing.
From 1 October 2018 mandatory licensing will no longer be limited to HMOs that are three or more storeys high, but will also include buildings with one or two storeys.
Currently, a property must have a Mandatory HMO licence if all of the following criteria apply:
- it’s rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 household.
- it’s at least 3 storeys high.
- tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities.
From the 1 October 2018 a property will require a Mandatory HMO License if:
- it is rented to 5 or more people from more than 1 household; AND
the HMO is either:
- A building where a tenant shares a basic amenity (i.e. toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities) or their living accommodation lacks a basic amenity. (e.g. shared house arrangement)
- A self-contained flat where a tenant shares a basic amenity. Excluding purpose-built flats that are situated in a block of 3 or more self-contained flats.
- A building that has been converted and one or more of the units of accommodation is not self-contained. (e.g. bed-sit type arrangement).
The legislation that details which HMOs require a Mandatory HMO Licence is available on our Applying for a HMO licence page.
How do I apply for a HMO licence?
Visit our Applying for a HMO licence page for information on how to apply for a HMO licence OR to renew an existing licence.
What happens if you fail to apply for a HMO licence?
It is a criminal offence to be in control of, or be managing a House in Multiple Occupation, which is not licensed but is required to be so.
These are a range of sanctions that could be imposed on you:
- An unlimited fine upon prosecution and given a criminal record
- A civil penalty of up to £30,000.
- You could be banned from running a rental property.
- Stopped from using Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 to evict your tenant.
- Payback rent received over the last 12 months to the council or the tenants.