HMO licensing

Why license Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Larger HMOs such as bedsits and shared houses often have poorer physical and management standards than other privately rented properties. People who live in HMOs are amongst the most vulnerable members of society. Thus the government recognises that proper regulation of HMOs is vital.

The intention behind licensing HMOs is to make sure that:

  • Landlords of HMOs are fit and proper people, or employ managers who are.
  • Each HMO is suitable for occupation by the number of people allowed under the licence.
  • The standard of management of the HMO is adequate.
  • Identification and targeting of high risk HMOs for improvement.

Where landlords refuse to meet these criteria the we can intervene:

  • To protect vulnerable tenants.
  • HMOs are not overcrowded.

Do all HMOs have to have a licence?

No. Under the Housing Act 2004 there are three types of licensing. Only Mandatory HMO licensing applies within Eden district. An HMO requires a licence where:

  • Have 5 or more people forming 2 or more household, and
  • Share amenities such as bathrooms, toilets and cooking facilities.
  • A property no longer needs to be 3 storeys or more.

How does HMO licensing work?

Anyone who owns or manages an HMO that must have a licence, has to apply to us for that licence. A licence must be issued where we are satisfied that:

  • The HMO is suitable for occupation by the number of people allowed under the licence;
  • The proposed licence holder is a fit and proper person;
  • The proposed licence holder is the most appropriate person to hold the licence;
  • The proposed manager, if there is one is a fit and proper person;
  • The proposed management arrangements are satisfactory;
  • The person involved in the management of the HMO is competent;
  • The financial structures for the management are suitable.

What does a 'fit proper person' mean?

We will carry out checks to make sure that the person applying for the licence is a fit and proper person. In deciding whether someone is fit and proper we must take into account:

  • Any previous convictions relating to violence, sexual offences, drugs and fraud;
  • Whether the proposed licence holder has broken any laws relating to housing or landlord and tenant issues;
  • Whether the person has been found guilty of unlawful discrimination;
  • Whether the person has previously managed HMOs that have broken any approved code of practice.

It is advisable for the landlord or manager to be a member of a professionally recognised body, or an approved landlords association.

How long with an HMO licence last?

A licence will last for a maximum of five years, although it can be for a shorter period..

HMO licence cost

Landlords will have to pay a fee to cover the administration costs of the licence procedure. For a new licence the fee is £525 for a property up to 5 bedrooms, with a £33 charge for each additional room. There is no maximum fee. For a renewal of a licence the fee is also £525.

Apply or renew a HMO licence

To apply for or renew and existing HMO licence download one of the following forms, complete it and return it back to the council with any other relevant documents and the appropriate fee.

House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licence application form (PDF: 892Kb / 30 pages)

House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licence application form (Word: 304Kb / 30 pages)

You will need the following information to apply for your licence:

  • Completion/test certificate for the fire alarm system.
  • Completion/test certificate for any emergency lighting.
  • Log book of inspections/tests.
  • Plan of the premises.
  • Planning Consent, Building Regulations Certificate.
  • Written statement of terms and conditions.
  • Landlords Gas Safety Certificate.
  • Electrical Inspection Condition Report.
  • Confirmation all landlord’s electrical appliances meet.
  • Required safety standards (PAT test).
  • Confirmation that landlords furnishings are in safe condition.

Landlords should also make sure they meet the amenity standards for a HMO licence.

Last updated: Wednesday, 24 April, 2024.