Borough Insight

Attention landlords!

We are now taking applications for the licensing of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) of fewer than three storeys. House

From 1 October all HMOs will require licensing provided they house five or more people forming two or more separate households. Previously we operated a mandatory scheme where only HMOs of three storeys or more were licensable. 

HMOs make a valuable contribution to local housing as they offer a cheap and accessible form of housing for many people on low or moderate incomes. There are strict standards regarding licensed HMOs that landlords must follow, which are enforced by our environmental health services.

A HMO must have a licence if any of the following apply:

  • It meets the definition of an HMO (ie toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities are shared with other tenants)
  • It is occupied by five or more people forming at least two households.

A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. A family includes people who are:

  • married or living together - including people in same-sex relationships
  • relatives or half-relatives, for example grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings
  • step-parents and step-children.

Since it will be an offence not to be licensed, we recommend landlords submit their licence application now and consult the link at


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