Types of HMOs which require a licence

Renting out a house in multiple occupation (HMO) requires a licence if:

  • it is rented by five or more people (including children) who form more than one household
  • some or all tenants share basic facilities including toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities 
  • it is their only or main residence or they are to be treated as such when occupying it – includes full-time students and victims of domestic violence seeking refuge
  • at least one tenant pays rent (or their employer pays it for them).

HMO licence conditions

To run a licensed HMO, you must comply with a range of statutory conditions. These are as follows.

You must make sure:

  • the house is suitable for the number of occupants (this depends on its size and facilities)
  • the manager of the house - you or an agent - is considered to be ‘fit and proper’, for example they have no criminal record or breach of landlord laws or code of practice.

You must also:

  • send us an updated gas safety certificate each year
  • install and maintain smoke alarms
  • provide safety certificates for all electrical appliances when requested.

We may add other conditions to your licence, for example improving the standard of your facilities. 

Read about the required conditions for an HMO

The revised mandatory licensing conditions also includes: 

Licences are subject to fees and charges and in most circumstances issued for a period of three years

View HMO licence fees and charges

Renewing an HMO licence

If you need to renew your current HMO licence, you must reapply online before the expiry date.

If you operate without a licence you are committing an offence. Penalties include prosecution with an unlimited fine, a financial penalty of up to £30,000 per offence, and recovering the rent paid by tenants via a rent repayment order.

Read the government’s guide for landlords on mandatory HMO licensing

Renew your HMO licence