Houses in multiple occupation

A property let to three or more unrelated people is a house in multiple occupation (HMO). HMOs can include -

  • shared houses
  • bedsits
  • certain self contained flats

If you use a building as a HMO, you may need planning permission.

Find out about applying for planning permission

Certain works also need building regulations approval.

Find out more information on building control

Mandatory licensing

You must apply for a licence if you let a property which has three or more storeys, is occupied by five or more people, forming two or more households and where they share a bathroom or kitchen. Certain self contained flats occupied by five or more people may also require a licence.

Any HMO must have adequate fire precautions, amenity standards and be of an adequate size. Find out more about the standards expected.

How to apply

If you are applying for a licence for the first time, or after the existing licence has expired, you need to fill in and return the mandatory licence application form to us. 



If you own or manage a property with a current licence you need to complete and return the mandatory licence application form. Completed forms must be returned to us before the existing licence expires.



If you do not hold a valid licence, you risk having to pay back any rent collected for the property and a fine of up to £20,000.

Fire safety

The LACORS fire safety guidance details the fire precautions required in HMOs and single occupancy dwellings.