Houses in multiple occupation

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a property which is occupied by a least 3 people who are not from one household. HMOs include buildings where facilities are shared, but can also include buildings divided into self-contained flats. 

Licensing is mandatory for HMO's which are occupied by 5 or more people forming 2 or more households. Licences are not required for individual flats situated in purpose built blocks if there are 3 or more flats in the block or for buildings which have been fully converted to self-contained flats. Flats located inside converted buildings may require a licence if occupied by 5 or more people. 

The most appropriate person to apply for the licence is normally the landlord or managing agent if they are receiving all rents directly. 

​If the licence holder changes during the licence period, a full new application must be submitted for the licence to be re-issued to the new licence holder.

Before completing a new application, read our guide.

Information about how personal data is processed by the council

1. How to apply

Apply for a new HMO licence Apply online
Renew an existing HMO licence Renew online
Make changes to an existing HMO licence Change online


To complete any of the above forms using Chrome, you must have the most recent version of Adobe Reader.

2. Assistance with submitting your application

We're able to provide additional support in completing your application form and supporting documents.

The cost for this service is £72 per officer hour based on the amount of assistance provided.

Please contact us to discuss further. 

3. Application fees and how to pay

Licence type Price per unit of
First HMO licence £285
Licence renewal £255

The maximum HMO licence fee payable for either a first-time licence, or a renewal, is set at £7,000 per property.

Registered charities who are providing accommodation solely for vulnerable persons in the HMO in question, are exempt from licence fees. They must still apply for a HMO licence for the property.

Fees must be paid online while making your application.

In the unlikely event you are unable to make an online payment while making an application, you can pay online using the button below. When making the payment please quote the HMO case reference number, without the ‘MAND’. You will find this reference on correspondence relating to this licence. When prompted to select a 'WCC Area', please select “HMO Licence Fee Inc”.  

Please ensure that you retain your electronic payment receipt which should also be forwarded to You will be required to produce this receipt, if requested, as proof of payment. 

Pay online

5. Process of evaluating applications

Licences will be granted if:

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

6. Appealing a HMO licence

There is a consultation period before the licence is issued where interested persons can make representations about the application.

If your application is not successful, please contact our team first.

You may appeal to a residential property tribunal within 28 days of the decision being made.

7. HMO standards and further information

Westminster standards

This advice was updated in November 2018 to reflect changes to guidance and legislation. 

Further information

8. Public HMO register

The council is required to maintain a register of licensed Houses in Multiple Occupation and make this register available to the public. 

All licenses issued under Westminster's mandatory HMO licensing scheme can be downloaded in Excel format. 

Download the HMO register

The register is updated on a quarterly basis. For queries relating to the HMO register please contact us online

Last updated: 7 June 2019