Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

A property is a HMO if it is let as a main or only home to at least three tenants, who form more than one household and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet. This includes properties such as houses or flats shared by a group of friends or colleagues, bedsit type accommodation with shared bathrooms and bed and breakfast type establishments for person who have no other home.

The Housing Act 2004 introduced the licensing of HMOs. If you are thinking of setting up such a premises or purchasing an existing HMO then you should contact us for advice and to make your application before you begin to operate. An existing licence cannot be transferred. Alternatively you may wish to apply online by using the Licence for HMO application

If you fail to apply for a licence or allow a property to be occupied by more people than are permitted under the licence, a fine of up to £20,000 may be imposed. In addition, breaking any of the licence conditions can result in fines of up to £5,000.

We have to carry out a Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) risk assessment on your HMO within five years of receiving a licence application. You must also carry out any works that are required as the result of a safety inspection.

Index of licences 2023

HMO Policy 2021

Under the management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) regulations 2006 the owner or manager of any HMO with three or more storeys and with five or more occupiers which form two or more households and where there is some element of sharing of basic amenities, must:

  • Give their contact details to the tenants
  • Keep fire escapes clear and maintain fire fighting equipment and alarms
  • Ensure that the property design and structure will not cause any injury
  • Provide adequate supply of gas (if any) and electricity
  • Provide adequate, uninterrupted water supply and drainage
  • Check annual Gas Safety certification (if gas is supplied) and electricity safety every five years
  • Keep the property and any shared gardens in good repair
  • Provide suitable rubbish disposal


If you require any further information regarding Houses in Multiple Occupation please contact the Private Sector Housing team:


Last updated on: 16/02/2023 - 12:26