A house in multiple occupation (HMO) must have a licence if it meets the following criteria:
- The property is on three or more storeys (including useable basements or attics)
- It is occupied by five or more people
- Those occupants form two or more households
From 1 October 2018, the number of storeys will no longer be taken into account and so landlords will need a licence in place if the property is let to five or more people, forming two or more households, regardless of the number of storeys.
Landlords can apply for an HMO licence now in order to ensure one is in place by 1 October 2018.
For more information see the guide for landlords.
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
The licence fee is £700 for a new application which usually lasts for five years and is not transferable. Renewing an existing licence costs £400.
It is an offence not to licence an HMO that is licensable or to not comply with licence conditions.