Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Apply for a licence

Whilst the procedures required to issue a licence are fairly lengthy, we have tried to make the application process as easy as possible to understand. If you do not understand how to answer a question, please refer to the guidance notes for HMO applications below. For all enquiries please contact 01604 838585 or [email protected]

View guidance notes for HMO applications

The Private Sector Housing fees and charges policy contains information on which licence fee is applicable to your application.

See a list of private sector housing fees and charges policy

Variation of a HMO licence  

If there has been a material change in circumstances at a property which currently holds a HMO licence a variation in licence may be required. It will be necessary to apply for a variation where the licence holder proposes to increase the permitted occupancy. Please see the policy download below for fees relating to a variation licence.

See a list of private sector housing fees and charges policy

Licences are not transferable and if the owners of the property have changed then a new licence application is required.

Use this form to tell us about:

  • a change of address, or a new manager appointed
  • a property being altered or extended and permitted number of occupants increased; or
  • a variation due to policy or legislation changes

Please download and complete the form below and return it to [email protected]

Variation of HMO Licence application form

Additional HMO licensing 

All houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) consisting of two storeys in the designated area are subject to additional licensing.


Landlords with licensable properties who fail to apply for a licence may face fines of up to £20,000, a criminal record and potentially rent repayment orders and a management order where the council takes control of the property.


Certain types of buildings are not defined as HMOs under the Housing Act 2004 and therefore do not need to be licensed. These include:

  • buildings, or parts of buildings, occupied by no more than two households each of which comprise a single person (i.e. two person flat shares)
  • buildings occupied by a resident landlord with up to 2 tenants
  • buildings managed or owned by a public body (such as the police or the NHS) or an LHA or a registered social landlord
  • where the residential accommodation is ancillary to the principal use of the building e.g. religious establishments, conference centres, etc.
  • student halls of residence, where the education establishment has signed up to an approved code of practice
  • buildings subject to other regulation such as as care homes, bail hostels, etc.
  • buildings entirely occupied by freeholders or long leaseholders.

Our HMO register

By law we must maintain a register of all properties that have a valid HMO licence.

If you would like to view the full version of the register you can do this at the Guildhall. Please email us at the address below in advance to arrange a time to view it. If you would like copies of any of the information we may make a small charge. The register is maintained by the Private Sector Housing Team and we can be contacted on 01604 838585.

Email - [email protected]