Licensing houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

These are properties let as rooms where there is some sharing of a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.

The Council has created a leaflet that gives a summary of the things you need to do if you operate a HMO (PDF 4.91MB).

There are two different types of HMO, those that require a licence and those that don't.  Find out more about licensable HMOs.

Both licensable and non-licensable properties are still HMOs and have to comply with additional fire safety requirements.

For example, they need mains powered fire alarms and a protected means of escape in case of fire.

In order to determine the upgrades needed you should carry out a fire risk assessment (PDF 58kB).

To make this process simpler details as to the upgrades required are available in the guide (PDF 1.75MB).

HMOs need to have sufficient numbers of kitchens and bathrooms for the number of tenants.

The rooms must also be of sufficient size. For more detail as to these requirements, please see Amenity and Space Guidance (PDF 527kB).

You also need to make sure the property complies with certain basic standards relating to housing conditions.

There are certain things that the owner or manager of any HMO must ensure that they are complying with.

These cover things like:

  •     The design of the HMO (i.e. the fire alarm, fire doors, etc)
  •     The cleaning of the common parts (kitchen, bathrooms and hallways)
  •     Ensuring rubbish is handled properly
  •     The maintenance of the property
  •     Making sure you display your contact details in the property

Failing to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence that can result in you receiving an unlimited fine should the matter go to court.

We have created services to help you through this process and ensure you obtain the right advice. These services range from free advice to surveys and tailored reports. Find out more.

If you require more information or would like us to come out to look at your property to offer advice then please contact us online or call 01923 278 503.

Changes to Mandatory HMO Licensing

From 1st October 2018 the definition of a licensable House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) will be changing. A licence from the Council will be required for all properties that are occupied:

  • By five or more people,
  • From two or more households.

If you operate a HMO that meets this criteria then you must apply to the council for a licence.

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