Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Houses in Multiple occupation (HMO) that are with three or more storeys, with five or more unrelated tenants people living as more than one household and sharing at least one standard amenity (such as a toilet, bathroom or, washbasin, kitchen etc.) are required to be licensed under the Housing Act 2004. Not applying for a licence could mean a £20,000 fine.

From 1 October 2018 the licensable HMO definition includes all private properties that are rented as a shared house, flats or bedsits occupied by 5 or more unrelated tenants, no matter how many storeys are in the property. If you are unsure if your property requires a licence, please contact us at env.health@north-herts.gov.uk.

What does it cost?

Please see our Fees and Charges page for further details.

Apply online

You must apply for your licence before the 1st October deadline. You will be committing an offence if you fail to make your application before this date.

Apply for a RENEWAL house in multiple occupancy licence

Apply for a NEW house in multiple occupancy

Apply by post

Please complete the application form (below) and post to us using the contact details below. You need to enclose the correct fee and supporting documents.

You must provide the following documentation with any application:

  • Fire safety risk assessment
  • Fit and proper person assessment
  • Property plan including how each room is used and their sizes
  • Landlord gas safety certificate
  • Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
  • Electrical Safety Certificate

Failure to provide these documents may result in delays to the processing of your application.

Failure to licence a HMO that is required to be licenced or breaching the licence conditions are offences and may result in an unlimited fine, a civil penalty notice and a rent repayment order. The maximum fine for managing an unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation which requires licensing, or for exceeding the permitted number of occupiers, is £20,000. The maximum fine for breaking a licensing condition is £5,000.

What happens next?

We will consider your application and arrange to visit your premises. We aim to acknowledge your application within 3 working days.

If you have not heard from us within 56 calendar days, please contact us online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or using the contact details below.

Licences will be granted if:

  • the HMO is or can be made suitable for multiple occupation
  • the applicant is the proposed licence holder, is a fit and proper person and the most appropriate person to hold the licence
  • the proposed manager has control of the house, and is a fit and proper person to be the manager
  • the management arrangements are satisfactory

What happens if something changes?

Once you have a licence for your HMO registered with the Council, you need to notify us if there are any changes to the ownership or management of the property or any significant changes to the design and layout of the property building or safety features systems within the building such as the fire alarms.

Tell us about a change to your existing house in multiple occupancy licence

You can also write to or email us.

Public registers

The Council is required to hold a public register of all licensed HMO's, temporary exemption notices and management orders. The Register is available to download below.

Applicant/Licence Holder Redress

If your application is refused, or you disagree with conditions attached to the licence, or the licence is subsequently varied or revoked, you can appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) within 28 days of the decision being made.

If you are unhappy about the way that we have dealt with your application, please see our website or call our Customer Service Team on 01462 474000.

Legislation Summary

The legislation relating to this licence is Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004.

Consumer Complaint

If a licence is granted and you wish to appeal against it being granted you may do so to a Residential Property Tribunal within 28 days of the decision being made.