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.

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