Information and details regarding registration and safety requirements for houses in multiple occupancy.

What is a house in multiple occupation?

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is occupied by people who do not form a single household and have to share basic amenities like a bathroom, toilet or kitchen.

We have standards for all HMOs that are enforced by the Housing Act 2004. The standards relate to fire safety, the provision of adequate amenities for a large group of people and the management of the property.

Some HMOs need to be licensed under the provisions of The Housing Act 2004. 

Which properties need licensing?

  • Houses, flats or parts of buildings of any size (including any habitable basements and attics and commercial premises, for example a maisonette over a shop).
  • Properties occupied by five or more people in two or more households.

A household can be a family or related people, a co-habiting couple (whether or not of the opposite sex) or a single person. So a property let to five students would need a licence.

What conditions have to be met for a licence?

We have to be sure that:

  • the proposed licence holder is a 'fit and proper' person
  • proper management standards are being applied to the property
  • the HMO is reasonably suitable for occupation by the number of tenants to be licensed. To determine this, we will consider the number, type and quality of bathroom, toilets and cooking facilities available for the occupants and that rooms meet minimum sizes

Please note any property with more than six persons may need planning permission

Licensed Houses of Multiple Occupation Public Register

The Public Register

Where do I get further information and an application form?

Use the government website www.gov.uk or contact the Private Sector Housing Officer on 020 8207 2277.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the Council must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the  council within 28 days, please contact us for an update. You cannot assume that because you have not heard from us you will automatically have been granted the licence.

Please note: the target completion period for processing applications is six weeks from receipt of a valid application pack and inspection of the property, however each application is treated on a case by case basis and it could take longer to process an application, especially if information is missing/incomplete.

Recent case law suggests splitting the HMO fees. HMO licences should be split in two between the application fee and ongoing monitoring and enforcement. Our charges do not currently include a ‘part 2’ fee enforcement. We consider that enforcement costs are covered by claiming costs at court (variable) and our £350 administration charges for enforcement notices and we do not see the need to add any of this to the licence fee at this time.

Please note the rules for HMO licensing change on 1st October 2018 You need to comply with the documents and guidance below: