Mandatory licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO's)

Mandatory licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO's)

HMO licensing

A Mandatory HMO licence is required if a property has 5 or more occupants forming 2 or more households and where there is some sharing of the basic amenities (washing facilities, toilets, kitchens).

A City wide Additional Licensing designation has also been made from 6th April 2020.  This requires all privately rented properties with 3 or more occupants forming 2 or more households to be licenced e.g. a property with three students, or a couple and a friend.

Selective and Additional Licensing Boundary.pdf


Standards and conditions for HMOs

All HMO licences are subject to conditions which the licence holder must comply with either immediately or within a specified period of time. The Housing Act 2004 stipulates mandatory conditions that must be included in every licence granted. We can also impose any other specific property conditions considered necessary for regulating the management, use and occupation of premises plus its condition and contents.


Property Licensing Guidance


Following feedback from landlords the guidance document is regularly reviewed and updated. Please ensure you regularly check back to ensure you have the most up to date information (last updated 28th August 2020).

The legal minimum standards for HMO's are set out in the Housing Act 2004 and national Regulations. The HMO Management Regulations cover the legal duties for the day to day running of HMO's

All HMO's are subject to the Housing Health and Safety Rating Scheme (HHSRS). This is a risk based evaluation tool to help local authorities identify and protect against potential risks to the health and safety of tenants from deficiencies identified in dwellings.

Planning permission is required to change a house occupied by a family into an HMO (a house in multiple occupation) containing 7 or more persons.   In parts of the city, you will also need planning permission to change from a house occupied by a family to an HMO occupied by between 3 to 6 persons (Class C4 use) where an Article 4 Directions is in place.  In all cases you are strongly advised to seek advice on the planning status of an HMO. Further information is available on the Planning guidance HMO page.


Making an application for a licence

All applications for a new licence must be made online and paid in two parts as part of the application process. You will need to set up an account to complete a property licence application and to track the status of your application.

What do I need to apply?

  • room sizes and property facilities
  • details of property structure and safety equipment
  • names and addresses of persons and organisations with an interest in the property
  • payment card details
  • certificates e.g. gas safety, electrical, EPC etc.


Apply and pay for a new HMO licence


Apply to make a variation to an existing HMO licence


Fees and Charges.pdf


Making an application for a renewal of a licence

All applications for a licence renewal must be made online .


Apply and pay to renew an existing HMO licence


Please note that inline with the Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions)(Amendment)(England) Regulations 2012 applications for renewal need to be made before the current licence expires. If the current licence has expired a new application is required.


Apply and pay for a new HMO licence


Public register

All properties which currently have an HMO or Selective Licence can be viewed on our

  Public Register


If you believe a property requires a licence but is not on the public register please let us know by using this anonymous online form

Report an unlicensed property


Frequently Asked Questions

Please follow this link to access a list of Frequently Asked Questions. This includes information on how Coronavirus may impact the delivery and compliance of Selective and HMO licensing. Please email if you have any questions which have not been answered.

This FAQ document will be updated on a regular basis



Need more information?

email the Property Licensing team or telephone 0191 211 6102.

Is this page useful?
Is this page useful?