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Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

A property is a HMO if both of the following apply:

  • At least three tenants live there, forming more than one household
  • Facilities such as a toilet, bathroom or kitchen are shared with other tenants

A full definition of a HMO is available in the Housing Act 2004.

Landlords of some HMOs must apply to us for a HMO licence. 

Apply for a HMO licence

Visit our application page to find out when a HMO licence is required, how much a licence costs and how to apply. 

Before you apply for a licence, you must understand and comply with the regulations and standards that all HMO managers and owners are bound by.

Renew, vary or revoke a HMO licence 

If you already have a HMO licence, you can submit an application to us to renew it. You can also vary or revoke your licence if you need to. Certain rules apply to licences if you are selling a property.  

Find out how to renew, vary or revoke your licence.

Apply for a temporary exemption notice

You must apply for a temporary exemption notice if you already have a HMO licence and want to take steps so the property no longer needs to be licenced.

Read more about applying for a temporary exemption notice.

View the HMO register

We maintain a register of licensed HMOs in the borough. 

Report a suspected unlicensed HMO

Operating a licensable HMO without a licence is an offence which can lead to a financial penalty or a conviction in court.

If you believe a property that requires a HMO licence is operating without one, you should check the HMO register to see if the property is licensed.

If you still suspect that the property is operating without a licence, you can notify us.

Advice for tenants

A range of information is available to tenants of HMO properties:


If you have any questions about HMOs, you can contact the private housing team by:

Phone: 020 8545 3025

Updated: 24 October 2023

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