All Things You Need to Know About HMO Licences: A Comprehensive Guide to HMO Licensing and Certifications

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As a private landlord, maximising your rental income is essential. Letting out properties to multiple tenants can be an attractive option. However, if you plan to rent your house to tenants from different households, it’s crucial to secure a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence.

Discover all you need to know about HMO properties, including their definition, license types, requirements, and essential certifications for landlords, in our comprehensive article. Trust us to simplify this challenging and complex process, providing you with the expertise you need to navigate the HMO property market with ease.

Furthermore, To increase your chances of getting approval for your HMO planning permission applications, read our article ’10 Critical Reasons Your HMO Conversion Planning Permission Could Be Rejected.’ Our other article, ‘Navigating the Regulatory Landscape of HMO Consents in the UK’ can guide you towards a successful HMO application in the UK by helping you understand the difference between Licensing and Planning Permission.

What is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO):

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a type of residential property where shared common areas are utilised by more than one household. This means that tenants share toilet, bathroom, or kitchen facilities, and rent is usually paid by at least one tenant directly or through their employer. For those seeking more detailed information about HMOs, we encourage you to visit our HMO page.

Understanding HMO Licensing: Do You Need One?

If you are a landlord who rents a property to multiple tenants, you may be required to obtain an HMO license. The criteria for requiring a licence can differ depending on the number of occupants and their relationships. If your property accommodates five or more unrelated individuals, obtaining an HMO licence is mandatory. It is important to note that avoiding obtaining an HMO license can result in legal consequences and fines. It is recommended to check with your council to confirm if your small HMO requires licensing.

HMO License Types: How to Choose the Right One for Your Property

When considering which type of license is best suited to your needs, it can be useful to identify the specific situations in which a particular type of licence may be required. By doing so, you can make an informed decision and ensure that you are in full compliance with any necessary regulations or requirements.


This applies to large HMOs – where there are five or more occupants on the property, forming more than one household. These HMOs must follow the national minimum sizes for rooms used as sleeping accommodations, and landlords are required to follow council refuse schemes.

This is when a council imposes a policy that requires other sizes of HMOs to be licensed (like smaller HMOs with fewer tenants). Councils are entitled to bring in new rules at any time, and can ask for all HMOs to be licensed.

Selective licensing is a local scheme that can affect all rental properties in the area, determined by the borough, regardless of their size, number of storeys, or number of occupants.

Certain councils have integrated section 257 HMOs into their Additional licensing framework.

These buildings have undergone conversion into self-contained flats, yet their conversion did not meet the relevant Building Regulations at the time, and this non-compliance persists.

Moreover, less than two-thirds of the flats within these buildings are occupied by their owners.

It’s important to highlight that some councils have enforced their Additional licensing program (s257) for properties where the proportion of owner-occupied flats is below 50%.


HMO Licensing Standards and Requirements

In order to guarantee that HMO properties meet specific standards, most councils have established a set of guidelines that must be followed. To help you maintain compliance, we have developed a general specification that you can consult.

Click to download our checklist, which includes all these steps, to check whether your HMO is ready to obtain a license.

It’s crucial to promptly undertake all necessary measures to meet the HMO standards set by the Council within the specified timeframe.

1. Accommodation and Occupancy

Exploring the legal landscape governing accommodations and occupancy, particularly in the context of HMOs. This involves understanding landlord-tenant laws, safety regulations, and licensing requirements specific to HMOs.


2. Tenancy Management

Examining the rights and obligations of tenants residing in various accommodations, including HMOs. This involves understanding their entitlements to safe living conditions, privacy, and the responsibilities related to property care and rent payments.



3. Complaints and Anti-Social Behaviour Procedure

Analyzing the social dynamics within accommodations and their impact on communities. This includes considering factors such as neighborhood cohesion, cultural diversity, and the role of shared living spaces in fostering community relationships.



4. Wet Areas Requirements

Wet areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms, in Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are subject to specific regulatory requirements to ensure the safety, hygiene, and comfort of occupants. These requirements typically aim to prevent health hazards, maintain cleanliness, and minimize the risk of accidents.



5. Additionally, Other Points You Need to Do

In addition to those explained above, there are other important topics to which you should pay attention during the HMO license management process.



6. Safety and Required Certificates / Reports

Ensuring safety in Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) involves obtaining various certificates and reports to verify compliance with regulatory standards.


HMO Plans for Licensing 

When preparing your property for an HMO Licensing Application, it’s important to showcase the improvements you’ve made in your HMO plans and layouts. To ensure accuracy, it’s best to have an expert team process your plans, including the necessary survey. With our team’s help, you can be confident that your plans will be processed in the most accurate way possible.

Here are the elements required for inclusion in your HMO plans when submitting your HMO licensing application:

Unlock the Full Potential of Your HMO: Let Us Handle Your License, Plans and Certificates!

Simplify the complexities of HMO licensing and planning with Homz. Our dedicated team specialises in guiding you through every step of the process, ensuring a seamless experience from start to finish. Whether you’re embarking on an HMO conversion or managing existing HMO plans, we provide expert support tailored to your needs. From securing planning permission to navigating compliance with regulations such as HMO room sizes, space standards, and Article 4 direction, we handle it all with precision and efficiency. Contact us today to discuss your HMO application and plans, and let us help you achieve your goals.

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