Property licensing

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) licensing

From 1 October 2018, all HMOs with five or more tenants, forming more than one household, must have a council granted HMO licence, regardless of the height of the building. Prior to 1 October 2018 mandatory licensing only applied to HMOs of three or more storeys.

The number of tenants allowed in your HMO will be determined by the information contained within your application form.

If your property is a HMO, please refer to the Standards in Licensable Properties that may give you a rough idea of how many people you may be permitted to have in your property. The required standards are a minimum standard in order to make the property safe for its occupants.

Planning permission is required for some HMOS regardless of whether or not works are being carried out.

Planning permission

Planning permission is required:

  • for houses in multiple occupation housing seven or more people
  • change the use from a single-family dwelling into an HMO (Sui Generis)

Complying with building regulations and obtaining planning permission are separate matters, so if you have planning permission, you also need to check whether you need building regulations approval.

Contact the Planning Department by phone or post or complete the Contact Planning form.

It is important that you speak to planning as soon as possible alongside applying for your licence as the planning status of your property may influence the duration of the term of the licence granted.

There is no guarantee that your planning application will be approved, but if you rent out your property you must have a property licence should it fall under one of the three licensing schemes. If you are refused planning permission for an HMO but have applied and/or been issued with an additional or mandatory HMO licence, we will not be able to refund your licence fee.