Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

South Cambridgeshire District Council's PDF iconhouses of multiple occupation register is now available.

Amenity and Space Standards for Houses in Multiple Occupation

When assessing the suitability of houses for occupation as an HMO, account will be taken of a number of factors (e.g. size of rooms, cooking and washing facilities, communal space and fire safety etc.) Please refer to the HMO Amenity and Space Standards guidance notes for further details. The notes outline the minimum space and amenity standards HMOs should meet in South Cambridgeshire.

Changes to mandatory HMO licensing

The licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) will change on 1 October, when the extension of mandatory licensing is introduced.

Currently a property needs a HMO licence if it comprises three or more storeys and houses five or more people in two or more households.

A change in the law means that a licensable HMO will now be defined as:

  • a property occupied by five or more people forming two or more separate households, or
  • a purpose-built flat in a block of up to two flats and occupied as a HMO by five or more people

Landlords and managers of properties affected by the change must apply for a licence from us before 1 October. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.

We’ll provide more information here soon, including the date from which you can apply in relation to the new law.

The change in the law is intended to improve the standards and safety of rented accommodation in the UK. It will increase the range of measures available to local housing authorities with which to tackle rogue landlords.

The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006

If you are a landlord who rents to 3 or more tenants who are unrelated and who share one of the basic amenities such as cooking facilities a bathroom or a w/c the HMO Management Regulations are likely to apply to you.

The following information will provide a full list of fire, health and safety criteria to ensure your property reaches the required standards.

Licensing of HMOs

Under the Housing Act 2004, it is a legal requirement for larger HMOs (comprising three storeys or more and occupied by five or more persons) to be licensed. The person controlling or managing the HMO must apply to the council’s Environmental Health and Licensing before letting. Failure to do could result in prosecution if there is no reasonable excuse.

The application fee for a 5-year licence for 2018/19 is £750.00 and for renewal of the licence is £450.00. Normally it is necessary for the HMO or proposed HMO to be inspected prior to applying for a licence. An application form or advice can be obtained by telephoning the Environmental Health and Licensing service on 0345 045 063.

Alternatively, you can download the applications forms:

Applying for a Variation to a Licence

If you are currently the holder of an HMO licence and would like to apply to vary a licence please complete the variation to a licence form and an officer will then consider the variation and make contact with you.

Contact Details