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Houses in multiple occupancy licences

Our policy for licensing houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) is dictated by government regulations. The regulations apply to 3 storey buildings occupied by 5 or more persons who form 2 or more households.

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If an HMO falls within the scope of the licensing regime, a licence will be granted where the:

  • house or flat in question is reasonably suitable for occupation by the intended number of occupants
  • proposed licence-holder and manager are fit and proper persons
  • applicant is the most appropriate person to hold the licence
  • manager is either the person having control or an agent or employee of the person having control
  • proposed management arrangements are satisfactory.

You can apply for a licence or to change a licence online


£600 for first time application.
£360 for a licence renewal or change of licence holder.

The person in control of the HMO must apply for a licence. It is an offence to operate a qualifying HMO without a licence.

Is tacit consent provided?

We aim to make a decision about a licence application and notify those concerned within 14 working days, if there is a delay we will let you know.

Exceeding this target will not mean that tacit consent has been given.

Can we refuse to license your property?

Yes, if the property cannot meet the conditions required or if the proposed license holder is not a 'fit and proper' person.

Appeals against licensing decisions

An appeal may be made to a  Residential Property Tribunal Service against our decision to:

  • refuse to grant a license
  • grant a license, including any conditions imposed
  • vary a license
  • revoke a license
  • refuse to vary or revoke a license.

Appeals must normally be made within 28 days of the decision being made. However this period may be extended if the tribunal feels there is good reason to do so.

The following do not fall within the HMO definition and so are not subject to licensing:

  • the police
  • health authorities
  • universities
  • local authorities and housing associations, and
  • properties converted into self-contained flats with proper building regulation approval. 
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