Apply for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence
If you are not sure whether you need a HMO licence, please refer to the Should my property have a licence? page.
Before completing the application form, check to see if you have any of the following documents, because if you do, you will be asked to submit copies with your application:
- A gas safety report issued within the last 12 months
- An inspection and test report issued for the fixed electrical installation within the last 5 years
- Where applicable, an inspection and test certificate issued within the last 12 months for a Grade A automatic fire detection (AFD) system or a certificate of inspection or a statement of confirmation that a Grade D AFD system has been tested in the last 12 months and is operating correctly
- Where applicable, an inspection and test certificate issued within the last 12 months for an emergency lighting system
- Proof of servicing of any fire extinguishers within the last 12 months
Do not delay making your application if you do not have these documents immediately available. You can provide them later, or you will be asked to provide them as a condition of the licence, when granted.
You will also be asked to provide the following with your application:
- Copies of all current tenancy agreements
- Drawings or plans of the property, either drawn to scale with the scale clearly shown, or with dimensions clearly marked (not required for renewal applications)
- A cheque for the fee
Print and complete the application form (refer to the guidance notes for assistance):
- HMO licence application form (PDF, 286KB)
- HMO licence application form guidance notes (PDF, 127KB)
- Information on HMO licence fees and licence periods (PDF, 54KB)
Return the completed application form to the address given at the end of the form, or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org (please note: we intend to introduce an online application form as soon as possible).
It is also a requirement that certain information is given to relevant parties - the person in control of the HMO, the person managing it, and any other person having an estate or interest in the property. You may wish to use the HMO statutory notification form (PDF, 57KB) to do this.
When we receive your application we will check to make sure it's fully completed. You may be asked to provide further information, which may mean we need to return the application form to you.
Once the application is complete, and provided that the council is satisfied that based on the available information, both the proposed licence holder and the proposed manager are fit and proper persons, an officer will arrange to inspect the property.
Following the inspection, a draft licence will be sent to the proposed licence holder, the proposed manager and any other relevant persons. The draft licence is an undated and unsigned version of the proposed licence and will include a proposed schedule of works considered necessary to bring the property up to standard (unless the property is already fully compliant).
The proposed licence holder or any relevant person will have 14 days to make any representations to the council regarding any of the terms or conditions of the proposed licence. If no representations are made, or after any representations have been considered, the licence will be issued.
The licence will include a schedule of occupation, a schedule of licence conditions and, where necessary, a schedule of works to be completed within a specified time period. The licence will be issued for a maximum of five years, but may be reduced for a number of reasons - see the Information on HMO licence fees and licence periods document (PDF, 54KB).
It is an offence to breach any condition of a licence, including failure to carry out any specified works. Offences carry possible unlimited fines upon conviction. Alternatively, the council can impose a civil penalty up to a maximum of £30,000 for any breach.
When applying for a HMO licence you will have to pay a fee to the council which covers the cost of processing your licence application.
For information on the actual fees involved, refer to the Information on HMO licence fees and licence periods document (PDF, 54KB).
The council may refuse to issue a HMO licence if it considers that any of the following apply:
- The HMO cannot be adapted to meet the required minimum standards
- The proposed licence holder is not considered a fit and proper person
- The proposed manager is not considered a fit and proper person
- The proposed management arrangements for the property are not considered satisfactory
See our Appeal against a licence decision page if you don’t agree with our decision.