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HMO information for landlords

HMO information for landlords

To let or create a HMO, ensure you apply for a licence if necessary  SHDC HMO licence application (PDF) [195KB] (opens new window)   

Before submitting the completed application, you are required to arrange a DBS check using the Government website (opens new window)

We would also recommend that you contact us to tell us about your plans so we can ensure you get things right from the start.


Planning permission for HMOs

Houses can be converted to HMOs without making a planning application so long as it has six or fewer people living in it. If there are more than six people, a planning application will be required.

For further information visit our Planning and Building Control pages on our website.


Standards and regulations

All HMOs (whether a licence is required or not) must meet minimum standards. We routinely inspect HMOs in the district to ensure they are:

  • Safe
  • Managed properly
  • Have adequate sanitary and kitchen facilities
  • Not overcrowded

The following apply or are relevant to all HMOs in the district:

Basic rules to follow

We have developed a set of basic rules and minimum room sizes which must be followed by HMO landlords in the district:

  • No more than two people must sleep in the same room, irrespective of age
  • Rooms must not be shared, unless the individuals concerned consent to share the room (for example, couples). The room must be large enough
  • No single adult over 21 must share a bedroom, unless they are cohabiting as a couple
  • No bathroom, toilet, office, lobby, kitchen, cupboard, corridor or circulation space must be used for sleeping purposes
  • Inner bedrooms are not acceptable (This is a bedroom which can only be accessed by passing through another room, such as a lounge, kitchen or bedroom.)
  • Although basements and loft spaces may be used as sleeping accommodation, it is recommended that you contact the Private Sector Housing team to obtain advice as there are often additional hazards associated with loft spaces and basement rooms
  • No one shall sleep in a room without any access to natural light and ventilation (for example, basements without windows)

Click here to see the  Minimum amenities for HMOs (PDF) [126KB] (opens new window)

Click here to see   Mandatory HMO licensing (PDF) [49KB] (opens new window)


Transferring a licence

HMO licences cannot be transferred.  A new application must be submitted by the new owner (or person whose name the licence is being transferred to) along with the relevant fee; £660 for up to 5 bedrooms, and an additional £60 per room thereafter. A HMO licence is valid for 5 years.

The applicant should be the proposed licence holder (although the licence can be granted to someone else if both the applicant and that person agree). They must be the most appropriate person to be the licence holder. Usually this will be the person in control of, or the person managing, the property. This could be the freeholder or any other owner or lessee who receives rent or other payments (whether directly or through an agent or trustee) from tenants or lodgers in the property.  The Local Housing Authority must be satisfied that the licence applicant (and the manager if applicable) are 'fit and proper persons' to hold a licence or to manage a House in Multiple Occupation.  Applicants will be required to complete a 'fit and proper person' section on the application form.

If the property is mortgaged - check with the mortgage company as to whom they require to be the licence holder.