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Houses in Multiple Occupation
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) provide essential affordable housing for many tenants who need it.
The Housing Act 2004 provides a definition of a House in Multiple Occupation. It can include a self-contained flat, a converted building or a converted block of flats. There are also some exemptions contained in the Act. For further details, download the following documents:
Do you need a licence?
Yes, if the building comprises three or more storeys and it is occupied by five or more persons and it is occupied by persons living in two or more single households. A group of friends sharing a house will not be classed as a single ‘household’ for licensing purposes.
Landlords and agents who fail to apply for a licence may face fines of up to £20,000, a criminal record and potentially rent repayment orders.
To find out how to calculate the number of storeys in the building please view the following document:
However, self-contained flats formed by conversion prior to 1991 are deemed to be HMOs but are not licensable (Separate regulations for these premises are anticipated).
How to apply for a licence
If you require an application form or wish for some further information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Before granting a licence, the Council must be satisfied that
- the proposed licence holder and any manager of the property is a fit and proper person
- property management standards are being applied at the property
- the HMO is reasonably suitable, or can be made suitable, for occupation by the number of tenants allowed under the licence (eg bathrooms, toilets, cooking facilities)
Some other Councils have decided to extend the scheme to smaller properties, so if the property you own is in another Council area, you should check with that Council as to the local requirements.
Please note that from the 1st April 2018 the fees have been increased for :
New Licence to £840.00
Renewal of Licence to £570.00
- Houses in Multiple Occupation Licence Public Register
- Landlords - Do you need a property licence? leaflet
- Mandatory HMO Licensing Checklist used by Environmental Health Officers
- Communities and Local Government website
- Residential Landlords Association, Tel: 0845 666 5000, www.rla.org.uk
- National Landlords Association, Tel: 0870 241 0471, www.landlords.org.uk
- National Federation of Residential Landlords, Tel: 0845 456 0357
The Specialist Housing Group of the Essex Environmental Health Management Group has drawn up Codes of Practice in relation to Houses in Multiple Occupation.
The following documents can be downloaded here: