House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licensing

From 1 October, mandatory licensing is changing.

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a property which is occupied by three or more people forming two or more households, where facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms are normally shared. It includes bedsits, shared houses and some self-contained flats.

Currently a HMO that has 5 or more households with 3 storeys or more requires a mandatory licence. From 1 October 2018 mandatory HMO licensing is changing and mandatory licensing will no longer be limited to HMOs that are three or more storeys high occupied by 5 or more people sharing an amenity, but will also include buildings with one or two storeys. This is new legislation that will apply to landlords across the UK.

What buildings will be included?

Properties with five or more people who form two or more households. This includes both shared houses and bedsits where occupants share amenities. The property must be their main residence.

Flats that are occupied by 5 or more people who form two or more households that is within blocks of non-purpose built flats. This only applies where the block consists of 3 or more self-contained flats. This will include flats above and below commercial premises and flats in converted buildings.

A converted building which contains more than one unit of living accommodation but at least one of the units is not contained behind its entrance door. For example where someone has to cross the common stairway to access a facility such as a toilet.

It will also apply to purpose-built flats in blocks where there are up to 2 flats in the block – whether or not there are also commercial premises in the block.

How to Apply for a Licence

If you think that your property should be licensed please contact the Private Sector Housing Team on 01386 565631 or

Alternatively please complete the application form below and send it into the Department.

Our current charge for licensing a HMO is £734 for the first licence and £672 for any additional licences.  In line with current policies, please ensure you pay the licence fee when you make your application.  The fee has been split into two parts and you are required to pay £440 for your first application or £403 for any additional licence when you make your application.  Once your licence has been issued, you will be invoiced for £294 or £269 depending upon your application type.

• Application Form

Once a full and complete application has been received including the initial payment, we will ensure we process your application within a 56 working day period.

Please note:

Floor plans - please ensure you label the rooms (for example 'bedroom 1' and 'bedroom 2') with sizes in m2 (square meters), and that the rooms correspond with the application form.

If you have previously submitted your certificates when you applied for your mandatory licence and the certificates are in date and have not expired, you will not need to re-submit them.

HMO standards

The minimum room sizes for HMO properties with 5 or more sharing are:

  •  6.51 m² for one person over 10 years of age.
  • 10.22 m² for two persons over 10 years of age,
  • 4.64 m² for one child under the age of 10 years.
  • It will be a mandatory condition that any room of less than 4.64 m² may not be used as sleeping accommodation.

These size conditions are the statutory minimum and local housing authorities will continue to have the discretion to set their own higher standards within the licence conditions. If your room does not meet these standards landlords can be provided up to 18 months to comply.

HMO's can be inspected using:
Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Council Guide to Understanding the Basic Standards for Houses of Multiple Occupation

If you have questions about HMOs please email:

For a copy of our HMO Register please click on this link: HMO Register.