When do I need a licence?

The aim of house in multiple occupation (HMO) licensing is to ensure that the highest risk properties in the private rented sector are identified, meet legal standards and are properly managed, for the benefit of both the landlord and tenants.

A landlord must have a licence for a HMO if the property:

  • is three or more storeys high and
  • has five or more people in more than one household and
  • share amenities such as bathrooms, toilets and cooking facilities

Changes from 1 October 2018

From the 1st October 2018 the definition of a licensable HMO is being extended and will include:

  • all HMO's with five or more tenants, forming two or more households, which share some facilities regardless of the number of storeys
  • purpose built flats with up to two flats in the block and where one or both of the flats are occupied by five or more people forming two or more households. This will apply regardless of whether the flat is above commercial premises or within a residential block

All landlords and agents with properties meeting these criteria will require a licence by this date to continue operating lawfully.

See more about licence changes for HMOs

Government guidance on 2018 HMO licensing changes

What should I do if I think my property needs to be licensed?

If you think your property needs to be licensed contact us without further delay or refer to the application form.

If I own several HMO's do all the properties need to be licensed?

You are required to obtain a licence for every property that falls within the HMO licensing criteria.

If the managing agent details have changed - what should I do?

If the managing agent is the licence holder, the licence will need to be revoked, and the new managing agent/owner will have to apply for a licence in their own right. If the managing agent is not the licence holder, you need to write to us, and we will update our records.

If I have sold the property, what should I do?

Licences are not transferable to new owners. If a property is sold the new owner will need to apply for a new licence to continue using the property as a HMO.