Statistics show that people who live in houses in multiple occupation (HMO) are more at risk from fires, and other health and safety hazards.

We are keen to work with owners and landlords to reduce these risks as much as possible.

What is a HMO?

  • a whole house or flat which is let to three or more tenants, who form two or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
  • a house which has been converted into bedsits (or other accommodation that is not self-contained) and which is let to three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
  • a converted house which contains one or more flats which are not self-contained, and which is occupied by three or more tenants who form two or more households
  • a building which is converted completely into self-contained flats, if the conversion did not meet the standards of the 1991 Building Regulations, and more than one-third of the flats are let on short-term tenancies.

The property must be the tenants only or main residence and it should be used solely or mainly to house tenants.

Properties let to students and migrant workers will be counted as their only or main residence, as will properties which are used as domestic refuges.

Licensing of HMO's

It is a statutory requirement for us to operate a licensing scheme for HMOs with five or more people, from two or more households.

The licensing process involves a housing health and safety (HHSRS) risk assessment inspection, and the gathering and recording of information about the building and its management:

Apply for a HMO license

You can apply for a HMO licence online on the GOV.UK website.

Alternatively, you can download an application form and send it by email to or post it to: Environmental Health, Penns Place, Petersfield, GU31 4EX.

HMO license fees

You are also required to pay a fee at the time of submitting your application.

  • 0-5 occupants - £600
  • 6-10 occupants - £710
  • 11-15 occupants - £820
  • 16-20 occupants - £930
  • 20 plus occupants - £1,040

If you are sending an application form in by post, please ensure payment is included so we can process your application.

Public register

We are required by law to maintain a public register of all premises in the area licensed as HMOs.

The council publishes a simplified version of the HMO register which is available to download. The register does not include applications that are currently being processed.

Please contact us if you believe a property is an HMO but is not listed in the register.

The council does not publish the full HMO register online as releasing personal information to a large number of people may be considered a breach of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). The council maintains a full register of HMO licences which includes names and addresses of licence holders which is available in printed format on request.

Please note this register is updated periodically and does not necessarily represent the current number of licensed HMOs.