Houses in multiple occupation (HMO)

You must have a licence if 3 or more unrelated people or families live in a property you own, as their main home. You can be fined up to £50,000 for letting an unlicensed HMO.

As the owner, you are responsible for obtaining the licence even if your property is leased or managed by someone else or there are no rent agreements or payments.

Resident landlords are not counted when calculating the number of occupants.

Types of property

  • Flats and bedsits that share cooking, bathroom or toilet facilities
  • Hostels
  • Halls of residence
  • Staff accommodation


To be a granted a licence you and your agent must:

  • Be a fit and proper person to operate a HMO.
  • Have the property in good order and suitable for the purpose (or can be made so as a condition of the licence)
  • Have the necessary planning permissions for HMO use
  • Ensure there are proper tenancy agreements


The following may be exempt from a licence:

  • Communally owned properties
  • Properties occupied by a religious order
  • Care commission registered accommodation

How to apply

Apply for a New HMO Licence Application >>

You will also need to provide the following documentation (where applicable):

  • Floor plans of the premises (for new applications, or where there have been alterations made to the property)
  • Current or proposed tenancy agreement for the property
  • Property insurance policy including public liability cover.
  • Electrical Portable Appliance Testing for the property (PAT)
  • A copy of the current Landlords Gas Safety Certificate for all gas appliances
  • A satisfactory Electrical Installation Condition Report for the property (EICR)
  • Fire Safety Risk Assessment
  • Fire Detection/Warning System (Maintenance and Testing Record)
  • Emergency Lighting (Maintenance and Testing Record)
  • Firefighting Equipment (Maintenance and Testing Record)

Existing HMO Licence Holders

Renewals Only

Download and print an HMO Licence Application below:

HMO Public Register

View the Public Register of HMO licences >>


Licence fees depend on the number of occupants. They are non-refundable.


Number of occupants

New licence

Licence renewal

3 to 5



6 to 10



11 or more



Page last updated: 30/06/2023
email icon print icon