Skip Navigation

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licensing

What a HMO is and how to apply for a licence.


A house of multiple occupation is a property rented out by at least 3 people who are not from 1 'household' (eg a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. It's sometimes called a 'house share'.

Some houses in multiple occupation require a licence. A property needs a licence if it has:

  • 3 or more storeys
  • 5 or more people in more than one household
  • People share amenities such as bathrooms, toilets and cooking facilities

If you are changing the use of a property to become a HMO, you may require Planning and Building Regulation approvals.

Changes to the HMO Licensing Scheme - October 2018

The Government has recently announced that it intends to extend the mandatory licensing scheme for HMOs. Under the new rules, all HMOs where 5 or more unrelated people who form two or more households and share facilities (such as a kitchen or bathroom) must be licensed. Previously, only HMOs that were 3 or more storeys needed a licence.

It is believed the new HMO legislation will come into force in October 2018. Over the next few months we will be working with landlords and property agents to ensure they have the information they need for the new licensing scheme. 

Read Government guidance on the reforms to the Mandatory Licensing of HMO's.

Landlords will soon be able to make an application to us as part of these reforms. This webpage will be updated as more information becomes available.

If you want to register your interest in making an application or want to find out more information, please email 

You can pdf icon apply for a HMO licence [61kb]. pdf icon Guidance notes [29kb]

You can also pdf icon apply to renew your HMO licence [51kb]. pdf icon Guidance notes for HMO renewals. [33kb]

Landlord and Agents

If you are a landlord or agent, you may wish to read our pdf icon management guide for Houses in Multiple Occupation [753kb]