Apply for an HMO licence
Landlords have a statutory duty to apply for a licence for certain properties that are in multiple occupancy (HMOs). If you own or manage a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) you may need to obtain a licence for the property. It is a criminal offence to operate a licensable HMO without a licence. Landlords who are caught can be heavily fined by the courts.
You can check the criteria for HMO licensing.
Licences are normally valid for a period of five years, but we may issue a licence for a shorter length of time if there have been:
- Management deficiencies
- Delays on returning application paperwork
- The need for works to be carried out to put the HMO into a satisfactory condition
- Concerns as to the fit and proper status of relevant people
Before reducing the standard term of a licence, we will discuss our concerns with the applicant.
How to apply or check if your property needs a licence
You can either apply using our online form or by downloading a PDF version. Certain types of applications can only be made using the PDF version of the form, please read this section to check which way you will need to apply.
You can also use the online form to check whether your property would need an HMO licence.
Before you fill in this form
You won't be able to save this form to complete later, so please allow yourself up to 30 minutes to fill in the form.
Although this online form can be completed on a mobile phone, due to the length of this form we recommend you use a desktop, laptop or tablet.
You will also need your payment card details to hand. A list of costs can be found on our HMO licence fee page.
Applications should be processed within 12 weeks.
You will need to hand:
- Payment card details
- Landlord's gas safety record – dated within the last 12 months and produced by a Gas Safe registered engineer, covering all gas appliances in the property
- Domestic electrical installation condition report – dated within the last 5 years and produced by an electrical engineer registered with an organisation recognised by Part P of the Building Regulations 2000 (as amended). To qualify for the timely and compliant HMO licence fee, the report must be rated ‘satisfactory’
- Certificate of Compliance (if applicable)
- Any documents you think may help us process your application, such as a layout of the property, your fire risk assessment, or details of management arrangements
Properties that will need to complete the PDF version of the form instead
- If you own or manage a purpose-built flat in use as an HMO (three or more occupiers from two or more households) situated in one of the following wards will be subject to Additional HMO Licensing: Bevois, Bargate, Portswood, Swaythling, Shirley, Freemantle, Millbrook and Bassett
- Buildings owned and managed by private providers of large student accommodation (where 15 or more students live in one building, either in rooms off a central corridor, cluster flats or self-contained flats) who are members of and comply with ANUK* National code for large student developments or any approved code or scheme of compliance, as approved under section 233, Housing Act 2004. You will be entitled to a 50% reduction on the fees. You will need to provide proof of scheme or code membership and compliance when you apply
For applications of this kind, please do not use the online application form. Please complete the PDF application form instead or contact us to discuss your application:
*The ANUK Code of Standards for larger developments for student accommodation not managed and controlled by educational establishments.
Relicense an HMO property
If your property was licensed under the Additional licensing scheme, then you cannot apply for a renewal. Additional schemes end after five years.
A new scheme covering Bevois, Bargate, Portswood and Swaythling came into force on 1 October 2018. See criteria for an HMO licence.
If your property is licensed under the Mandatory HMO licensing scheme and you want to continue letting the property when the current licence expires, you will need to apply to renew the licence two months before the current licence expires.
We will contact you three months before it expires with details of how to reapply.
For further information, you can look at our HMO frequently asked questions.
Telephone: 023 8083 3006
Address: HMO Licensing Team, Regulatory Services, Civic Centre, Southampton SO14 7LY
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