Houses and Flats in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s)
At it’s simplest a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a dwelling that is occupied by three or more people in two or more households (households essentially means a family group) who share at least one basic amenity (kitchen, bathroom, toilet).
Some buildings that are converted into self contained flats can also be HMO’s if they were converted without meeting, at least, 1990 Building Regulations. This is defined in section 257 of the Housing Act 2004.
Additional Licensing Scheme
From 1 November 2015 all HMO’s, that aren’t already licensable under the mandatory scheme (see below), will require a license. You cannot apply for a license if your property falls within this scheme until that date. An online application will be available from 1 November 2015.
Mandatory Licensing Scheme
- are 3 or more storeys high
- have five or more people in more than one household, and
- share amenities such as bathrooms, toilets and cooking facilities
require a license under the mandatory scheme.
The mandatory scheme is active now and if you are currently renting out a property that falls within this scheme, and you do not already have a license, you will need to apply for a license by clicking on the How do I license an HMO? option below.
If your HMO is licensable under this scheme and you have not applied for a license, you could, if convicted, face an unlimited fine and a criminal conviction. Action could also be taken to recover rent paid while the property was unlicensed.
Single Family Properties
Selective Licensing Scheme
From 1 November 2015 all single family, privately rented properties, in the selective licensing area (see below), will require a license. You cannot apply for a license if your property falls within this scheme until that date. An online application will be available from 1 November 2015.
Click here to view the public notices declaring the designation of Selective and Additional Licensing in the borough.