Licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) helps to improve neighbourhoods and shared housing and bedsits for private tenants.  We are happy to assist you as much as possible and we are always keen to build strong relationships with landlords, agents and property owners. 

HMO licensing changes

The licensing scheme was previously limited to properties with three or more storeys. From October this year all HMOs with 5 or more people sharing facilities will need to be licensed, irrespective of the number of floors. The only exemption will be on multi-occupied purpose built flats in blocks comprising three or more self-contained flats will not need to be licensed.

Due to the various changes that are due to happen in regard to HMO licensing this year we are receiving a lot of queries, which we hope to address on this page.  Please read the following scenarios below and see which one applies to you.

  • If your property is 3 or more storeys and occupied by 5 or more tenants then you should apply for a HMO licence under the mandatory licensing scheme.  Please email us at with your name, contact details, HMO address, number of occupants and storeys, when your tenants are moving in.  We will contact you to advise you of what to do next.

  • If you have a licence under the additional licensing scheme (your HMO reference which you can find at the bottom of your licence, will end in HMOADD eg 14/00123/HMOADD) which has 5 or more occupants, then it will automatically migrate to the mandatory licensing scheme and you should apply to renew your licence approximately one month before the current licence expires i.e 30 November 2018.

  • For properties with an additional licence which are occupied by 3 or 4 tenants, it is currently unknown whether you will need to renew your licence.  The Additional HMO Licensing consultation ended on 25 May 2018, with a decision to made by Cabinet in September 2018.  Once a decision has been made, we will update this page to advise you as to whether your licence needs to be renewed.

  • If you are renting out an HMO to 5 or more occupants, that is less than 3 storeys, that currently falls outside the mandatory licensing scheme, then your property will require a HMO licence from the 1 October 2018.  We are unable to accept HMO applications yet; the online application form will be available from 1 September 2018.  If you have any questions please contact our office by email 

Applications for HMO licences

We are unable to accept applications for new mandatory HMOs yet.  However we expect that the new on-line licensing application will be ready from 1 September 2018.  We advise potential licence holders to collect all necessary certificates and documents that will be required to be submitted with the on-line application:

  • Signed Fit and proper person (F&PP) declaration for all licence holders must be submitted with every application - individual or companies

  • F&PP declarations dated within 6 months must be submitted for all managers/managing agents, regardless of whether they have been previously provided.  Where a manager/ managing agent operates out of more than one office, then a F&PP declaration must be completed by the person responsible of the local office in control of/managing the licensable HMO.

  • DBS checks for all licence holders (dated less than 3 years) must be submitted.

  • A DBS check (dated within 3 years), for all managers/managing agents – this will be the person with day to day control of managing the HMO. 

  • Gas Certificate (less than 12 months old);

  • Satisfactory Domestic Electrical Installation Report (less than 5 years old)

  • A floor plan - an example of which is here

Additionally an inspecting officer will require seeing the following: 

  • Fire Detection Alarm Certificate for a Grade A fire alarm system (less than 6 months old);

  • Emergency Lighting Test Certificate if installed in the property (less than 1 year old) 

  • Fire Risk Assessmentfollow the link for more information 

  • Tenancy Agreement(s) 

  • EPC provide evidence if the property is exempt  

Minimum room sizes in licensed HMOs:

From the 1st of October this year, there will be a minimum bedroom size requirement: 6.51m2 for a single occupancy and 10.22m2 for a double occupancy in licensable HMOs with the minimum ceiling height of 1.5m. Bedrooms below these sizes will be disregarded. All licensed properties with single bedrooms less than 6.51m2 will need to be either extended or not used as bedrooms. This will apply to new licences and licence renewals with a condition to complete works to comply with the new standards. Click here for more information.

To measure the bedroom size, an inspecting officer will check the size between the walls (not skirting boards) and multiply the measurement:  i.e.3.25mx2.50m=8.125m2. Some spaces, like stairs leading to the loft room would not be counted as a usable space.

Current HMO Licensing Standards

Apply and pay for an HMO Licence

Which HMOs need a licence?

Public Register of licensed HMOs

HMO standards and guidance

Good practice documents for licensed HMOs

Changes to my licensed HMO

HMO licensing penalties and sanctions

How licensing helps improve homes and neighbourhoods

Report an unlicensed HMO

Will licensing stop properties being used as HMOs? 

Consultation Report on Additional HMO Licensing 2018 - now closed

Buying a licensable HMO

Guidance - conditions for recycling, rubbish and gardens

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