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The HMO License is necessary in order to legally rent out a property that is classed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). A HMO is any property that is shared by more than two households and these households share facilities such as a kitchen, toilet and bathroom. Depending on the size of the property, a Mandatory, Additional, or Selective License may be required.

Figuring out what type of license you need can be challenging. Each type of HMO license has its own unique set of requirements and regulations that must be adhered to in order to be considered compliant. The HMO License is valid for a maximum of 5 years and must be renewed before it expires. A separate license is required for each property.

Steps to Obtain a HMO License: Property and Compliance Requirements

To help, we’ve summarised all the details below on how to obtain a license and the different types available.


To obtain the license, the following must be in order:

  • The property must be suitable for the number of occupants. View the size guide here.
  • The property manager, landlord, or agent must have no criminal record, breaches of landlord laws, or violations of the code of practice.
  • The gas safety certificate must be updated yearly to the council.
  • Smoke alarms must be installed and maintained.
  • Safety certifications for all electrical appliances must be provided when requested.

Different Types of HMO Licenses: Standard, Additional, and Special

The Standard HMO License is typically the most basic type of HMO License, and is often the most affordable. It is designed to provide the minimum standards of safety and quality required by law for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). In order to obtain a Standard HMO License, landlords must meet a set of requirements, such as providing a fire safety plan, maintaining adequate ventilation, and ensuring the property is suitable for the number of tenants.


The Additional HMO License is designed for larger HMOs that exceed the size requirements for the Standard HMO License. This type of license requires more stringent safety and quality standards, such as the installation of additional fire safety measures, the provision of additional amenities, and the addition of additional maintenance and repair requirements.


The Special HMO License is typically the most expensive type of HMO License and is typically only necessary in certain areas. It is designed to address unique safety and quality issues that are specific to a particular building or area. For example, if an area is prone to flooding, a Special HMO License may be necessary to ensure the safety of tenants. Special HMO Licenses also require additional safety and quality standards, such as the provision of emergency evacuation plans and the installation of additional flood protection measures.

HMO Property Size Guide: Minimum Standards for Bedrooms and Common Areas

 Property size guide:

  • Minimum size of bedrooms:
    • 6.52 square metres for a single person, ensuring they have adequate space to comfortably move around, sleep and store their belongings.
    • 10.23 square metres shared by two people, providing enough room for both occupants to have a comfortable living environment.
    • 4.64 square metres for children under 10, allowing them to have enough room for play and study.
  • For 1-5 people, the kitchen must have a minimum size of 7 square metres, plus an additional living room or dining room with a minimum size of 11 square metres, making the space both functional and comfortable.
  • For 6-10 people, the kitchen must have a minimum size of 10 square metres, plus an additional living room or dining room with a minimum size of 16.5 square metres, allowing for greater flexibility when accommodating larger groups.
  • The kitchen must have a minimum width of 1.8 metres, making it a suitable size for the installation of kitchen appliances and providing the necessary space for food preparation.

No matter which type of HMO License you are looking for, it is important to understand the requirements and regulations associated with each license in order to ensure that your property meets all the necessary standards. Having a valid HMO License is essential in order to provide tenants with a safe and comfortable living environment.