Licensing large houses in multiple occupation (HMO)

Changes to mandatory HMO licensing came into force on 1 October 2018

The scope of mandatory licensing has been extended to cover certain HMOs, including flats, occupied by five or more persons in two or more households, regardless of the number of storeys.  The details are contained in the licensing of houses in multiple occupation (prescribed description) (England) order 2018.

If you manage a property coming under this new definition you must apply for a licence.

No additional or selective licensing schemes are currently in operation.

Email if you are not sure whether you require a HMO licence.

As the landlord you are responsible for applying for a licence and paying the appropriate fee.  Failure to do so could result in an unlimited fine or civil penalty of up to £30,000.

Licences last five years so you are also responsible for renewing them.

Licence fees

The basic fee is £650 per licence.  If the licence holder is not the manager, an additional fee of £76 applies.

If you need assistance with your application, or you submit an incomplete application which causes us extra time to process, the total fee is £800 per licence.

If you apply for more than one HMO licence at the same time, a reduction of £76 applies to the second property and those thereafter.

All fees are non-refundable.

Licence conditions

When a licence is issued it comes with conditions you must meet to ensure certain standards are maintained. It will also tell you how many tenants can occupy the property at any one time.

If you fail to meet the conditions of the licence or allow the property to be occupied by more tenants than the licence allows, you could face an unlimited fine in the Courts.  Alternatively the Council can impose civil penalties of up to £30,000.

How to apply

To apply for your HMO licence download and complete the Icon for pdf HMO licence application form [657.81KB].  The form does not work on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.  Right click the link and select the 'save' option.

Next, fill in the application form on your computer.  To edit the form you'll need a recent version of Adobe Reader.  Open the form using Adobe Reader instead of your web browser.  If you can't complete the form right now don't worry, you can edit it in your own time. Please note that the form cannot be uploaded at the website. 

When you have completed your application form and have all your supporting documents ready, register or login to the HMO licensing portal to submit them. 

You must read the Icon for pdf Information for applicants [347.91KB] and Icon for pdf Runnymede HMO standards [277.91KB] documents before filling in the form.

You must include the following documents with your application:

  • Electrical installation condition report (EICR) issued within the last five years
  • Landlord's Gas Safety record issued within the last 12 months, if the property has gas
  • Portable appliance test (PAT) certificate issued within the last 12 months for any portable electrical appliances more than 12 months old, if you have one
  • Fire risk assessment, if one has been undertaken
  • Maintenance and inspection reports for fire precautions equipment (where grade A fire alarm systems and emergency lighting is installed in the property)
  • Two copies of floor plans that accurately reflect the layout of the property
  • One copy must be annotated to show the location of basic facilities such as baths, toilets, wash hand basins etc., and the location of fire precaution equipment
  • The other copy must show accurate measurements of individual rooms so we can calculate floor space, and determine how many people the property is suitable for.  Any areas of rooms where the ceiling height is below 1.5 metres must be marked on the floor plan

If you need help using the portal please read the Icon for pdf HMO licensing portal user guide [3.32MB].

Tacit consent

Tacit consent is where the applicant can act as though the licence is granted if they haven't heard from us. This does not apply to HMO licensing.