Multiple occupancy home licences

HMO stands for House in Multiple Occupation, which is a building, or part of a building, such as a flat, that meets the following criteria:

  • is occupied by more than one household and where more than one household shares an amenity, such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities
  • is occupied by more than one household and is a converted building – but not entirely self-contained flats (whether or not some amenities are shared or lacking)
  • are converted self-contained flats, which fail to meet the minimum standards under the 1991 Building Regulations, and at least one third of the flats are occupied under short tenancies.

On 6 April 2006 mandatory licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation came into force nationally.

Under the national mandatory licensing scheme an HMO must be licensed if it satisfies the following criteria:

  • three or more storeys high, and
  • have five or more people in more than one household, and
  • share amenities such as bathrooms, toilets and cooking facilities.

Applying for a licence

Anyone who owns or manages an HMO that must be licensed has to apply to the council for a licence. Instructions and advice on how to apply can be found in the attached application pack.

Licence fees

Initial fee for 5 bedrooms or less - £572 (plus £10 for each additional bedroom)
Extra work - officer rate per hour - £33
Extra work - administration per hour - £27
Immigration inspection fees - £114.40


  • If it is occupied by only two people.
  • If it is occupied by the owner (and their family if any) and one lodgers.
  • If it is occupied by a recognised religious community.
  • If the occupiers have their main residence elsewhere*.
  • If the owner or manager is a public body/ an educational institution such as a boarding school or university.
  • A converted building of self-contained flats if two thirds or more of the flats are owner-occupied.

*Accommodation used by full-time students while they are studying is taken to be their main residence.

Contact Housing Regulation Team

Telephone: 01753 475111 (option 3)
Email: or
Write to: Housing Regulation Team , St Martins Place (The Centre), 51 Bath Road, Slough, SL1 3UF