Houses in multiple occupation (HMO)
See if you need a HMO licence
You must have a licence if you’re renting out a large HMO in England or Wales. Your property is defined as a large HMO if all of the following apply:
- it is rented to five or more people who form more than one household
- some or all tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities
- at least one tenant pays rent (or their employer pays it for them)
- each HMO must have its own license
The following properties also need a licence:
- purpose-built flats of no more than two units where tenants form more than one household and they share a toilet, bathroom or kitchen
- a commercial property with purpose-built flats of no more than two units, where at least one flat has tenants that form more than one household and they share a toilet, bathroom or kitchen.
Purpose-built flats of three or more, such as a halls of residence, do not need a licence. If you are on the list of Specified Educational Establishments you do not need a licence.
If you're still not sure, you can check with our Licensing team.
Change of use
If you're in a HMO Article 4 direction area, you will also need planning permission to change the use of the property.