Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Our house of multiple occupancy register [PDF, 0.4MB] is now available.

Amenity and Space Standards for Houses in Multiple Occupation

When assessing the suitability of a house for occupation as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), a number of factors will be taken in to account, such as:

  • Size of rooms
  • Cooking facilities
  • Washing facilities
  • Communal space
  • Fire safety

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) changed on 1 October 2018, when the extension of mandatory licensing was introduced.

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. 

Failure to do so is a criminal offence.

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.

HMO Licence Fees 2020 / 2021

  • The application fee for a 5-year licence for 2020 / 2021 is £765.
  • Renewal of the licence is £460. 

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:
HMO Licence Application Form - New [PDF, 0.3MB]
HMO Renewal Application Form [PDF, 0.3MB]

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 1 of the basic amenities such as cooking facilities, a bathroom or a w/c, then the HMO Management Regulations are likely to apply to you.

Criteria to ensure your property reaches the required standards

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

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 [PDF, 0.7MB]

An officer will then consider the variation and make contact with you.

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