Houses in multiple occupation (HMO)

See if you need an HMO licence

You need a licence for your HMO if all of the following apply:

  • it accommodates five or more people across any number of floors
  • tenants form two or more households and
  • they share a toilet, bathroom or kitchen (or living room where bedrooms are the minimum size)

Purpose-built flats of three or more, such as a halls of residence, do not need a licence. 

If you are a registered provider of social housing, you may not need a licence. See the list of registered providers

If you're in a HMO Article 4 direction area, you will also need planning permission to change the use of the property.

Check if you are in a HMO Article 4 direction area 

If you're still not sure if you need a licence, you can check with our Licensing team.

Changes to licensing from 1 October 2018

From 1 October 2018, the law on HMO licensing will change. Any HMO occupied by five or more people who form two or more households and share at least one amenity (such as a bathroom) must be licensed.

The following will also need a licence:

  • Purpose-built flats of two or less, where at least one flat has five or more people forming at least two unrelated households who share a toilet, bathroom or kitchen.
  • A commercial property with two or less purpose-built flats above, where at least one flat has five or more people forming at least two unrelated households who share a toilet, bathroom or kitchen.