Mandatory licensable houses in multiple occupation or shared houses

Your landlord must have registered your home as an HMO with the council if:

  • five or more unrelated people live in it
  • there are two or more separate households living there.

This criteria is used because these types of HMOs are seen as particularly high risk.

Read the guide on Gov.uk - Licensing of houses in multiple occupation in England to find out whether your landlord needs a licence for your house, and what this means for you.

HMOs don't need to be licensed if they are managed or owned by a housing association or co-operative, a council, a health service or a police or fire authority.

Licences usually last for five years but some councils grant them for shorter periods. When deciding whether to issue or renew a licence, the council will check that the property meets an acceptable standard. It will look at whether:

  • the property is large enough for the occupants
  • it is well managed.

If you're thinking about moving into a shared place, ask the landlord or letting agent if it counts as an HMO. If it does, ask the council if it currently has a licence.

A landlord can be taken to court if the house or flat they're renting out is classed as an HMO but they haven't licensed it with the council.

If you live in a HMO and you think it needs a licence but doesn't currently have one you can report it to the Customer Contact Centre.

Contact for Customer Contact Centre