Properties that match the following criteria are required by law to have a licence:
- are 3 or more storeys high
- have 5 or more people in more than 1 household
- share amenities such as bathrooms, toilets and cooking facilities
These properties are known as 'Houses in Multiple Occupation' or 'HMOs'.
Download our guidance on which properties should be HMO licensed.
A guide to licensing for landlords and managers is available on GOV.UK.
Following local consultation on licence conditions, we have introduced a requirement that all licence holders must attend and pass a training course within 1 year of their licence being issued/renewed. This training is available online or in person at West Offices. If you have already attended a relevant training course then please send the certificate in with your application form.
Changes to HMO licensing
The government is proposing to extend mandatory licensing of HMOs and introduce additional mandatory conditions - stay up to date on HMO licensing changes.
Apply for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence
Please note that an application is not valid without the correct fee.
Where an unlicensed HMO is found, a penalty fee may be imposed.
Renew an existing HMO licence
Existing licence holders will be sent renewal applications by post prior to the expiry of their licence. You can also download fee information, guidance notes and application forms for renewing your license.
Please note that an application is not valid without the correct fee and relevant documentation. Only the current licence holder can renew the licence as they are non-transferable.
In order to benefit from the reduced licence fee, the full renewal application form must be received prior to the current licence expiring.
Operating without a licence
It is a criminal offence to operate an HMO without a licence when required. We will consider the following in relation to unlicensed HMOs:
- prosecution (unlimited fine upon conviction)
- formal caution
- penalty charge (up to £30,000)
- other actions in accordance with our enforcement policy
For further information or advice regarding HMO licensing, please contact the Housing Standards and Adaptations Team or complete our online enquiry form.
You can also view the HMO Licensing Policy.