Houses in multiple occupation

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a property rented out by at least three people who are not from one ‘household’ (for example a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. It’s sometimes called a ‘house share’.

You must have a licence if you’re renting out a large HMO in England or Wales. Your property is defined as a large HMO if all the following apply:

  • it is rented to five or more people who form more than one household
  • some or all tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities
  • at least 1 tenant pays rent (or their employer pays it for them)

How to apply

All HMO Licensing Applications will have to be completed via the online form below. If you are unable to complete the form online, please call 0116 257 2637.

Apply for your licence

Alongside the application form you will need to provide payment and several documents to support your application.

Please note applications need to be completed in one sitting and can take approximately 40 minutes to complete*

The documents you will need to provide are:

  • Copy of current gas safety certificate (if applicable).
  • Satisfactory Electrical installation condition report.
  • Proof of a buy to let mortgage (if applicable).
  • Floor plan of the premises, with annotated room sizes and numbers.
  • Fire Detection and Alarm System test report
  • Fire safety risk assessment.
  • Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) Certificates for all free-standing appliances provided by the landlord.
  • Emergency Lighting Test Certificate
  • Copy of any tenancy agreements (for current tenants).
  • Energy performance certificate (EPC).
  • Information about any person(s) with interest in the property.
  • Confirmation of any planning permission or building control sign off (if applicable).

Any documents not provided with the application need to be submitted no longer than one month after the date of application.

A fit and proper person check is completed as part of the application form.

Application evaluation process

Houses in multiple occupation are required to meet a minimal amenity standard, this document will be used to determine the maximum occupancy of your property and be viewed below

OWBC HMO and Private Sector Amenity Standard

Licences will be granted if:

  • The house is or can be made suitable for multiple occupations,
  • The applicant is a fit and proper person and the most appropriate person to hold the licence,
  • The proposed manager has control of the house, and is a fit and proper person to be the manager,
  • The management arrangements are satisfactory.


The fees applicable are:

A full five-year license application - £590.

On issuing of the license an additional enforcement fee of £250 is payable. The £250 enforcement fee will be due within one month of the licence being issued.

The fee for an unlicenced premise identified by the council incurs an additional fee of £216 to the mandatory HMO licence fee.


Discounts will be available for applicants registered with an accredited body e.g. NLA, RLA, DASH. The discount will be £100 per application.

Applicants with multiple properties will be required to submit a full application for each property. The first application will be £590 and on issuing of the license an additional enforcement fee of £250 is payable. All subsequent applications will have a £30 reduction of the original application reducing the application fee to £560.00.

Will tacit consent apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period.

Change in circumstances of a property

If you are the landlord of a property that is subject to licensing and need to request a request for variation to an existing licence such as reporting you are no longer the landlord, you are looking to make changes to the property that vary from the licence, etc. Please notify us by completing the form below:

Report a change of circumstances

Public Register

You can view all HMO licences that have already been issued on our licensing portal. To search the full licensing register enter HMO in the search field or search for an individual property by address.

Search for a licence

Property Licensing enquiries

If you have a Selective Licensing enquiry, please use the button below to contact the team.

Make an enquiry

Anti-Social Behaviour caused by a House in Multiple Occupation

If you are experiencing issues with Anti-Social Behaviour from a property you believe to be a house in multiple occupation, please report this using the button below, and we will work with our Anti-Social Behaviour team to investigate.

Report Anti-Social Behaviour

Failed application redress

Please contact your local authority in the first instance.

You may appeal to a residential property tribunal.

Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.

Licence holder redress

Please contact your local authority in the first instance.

You may appeal to a residential property tribunal regarding conditions attached to a licence or any decision to vary or revoke a licence.

Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.

Consumer complaint

If a licence is granted and you wish to appeal against it being granted you may do so to a residential property tribunal within 28 days of the decision being made.

Last updated: Wednesday, 3 January 2024 11:57 am