HMO licence application

Do You Need an HMO Licence?

Have questions about obtaining an HMO licence? Use this guide to learn more about HMO property, and when licensing is required.

What is an HMO?

A House in Multiple Occupation, or HMO, refers to a shared property rented by at least 3 people, from more than one household, that share facilities such as kitchens, bathrooms, and communal areas.

When does a shared house become an HMO?

A landlord is allowed to have two ‘non-family’ members before the property becomes an HMO. A houseshare becomes classified as an HMO once two or more households are formed, typically this happens once three non-family, paying tenants move in.

Can the landlord live in their own HMO property?

Many falsely believe that HMO regulations apply only when the landlord does not live inside the property, but as mentioned, HMO regulations apply depending on the number of households in a property.

So, it is absolutely possible to live in your own HMO property as the landlord.

HMO Licensing

If 5 or more people are renting out your property, with shared access to bathroom and kitchen facilities – it is classified as a large HMO and will require an HMO licence to operate.

HMO licensing requirements vary from council to council; so, it is imperative to check with your own local council before operating an HMO.

For instance, there may be some instances in which HMOs require a licence, such as in specified areas, if you are unsure, get in touch with us, and we can research the HMO requirements in your area, or you can directly contact your council. You can find your council here

Once granted, an HMO licence is valid for 5 years, after this duration, you must renew it.

Be sure to stay updated on regulation changes which may affect your HMO’s compliance to be licenced again.

It should be noted that a separate licence is required for every HMO that you operate, failing to obtain a licence will result in prosecution, and at risk of facing a hefty fine.


Due to the increased amount of tenants in an HMO property, there is a higher chance of accidental damage and rate of wear and tear, they are also at greater risk of fire.

As such, it is important to install the appropriate fire-safety systems and maintain them as necessary.

Make sure that there are smoke and carbon monoxide alarms installed and are tested regularly.

You must also supply the council with a gas certificate each year and supply safety certificates for electrical appliances upon request.

What is an HMO licence?

If you are interested in learning more about whether you need an HMO licence and how to manage an HMO, watch our video about HMO licensing for more information.


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