Licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Safe, well managed private rented accommodation for our residents

A property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) if it's let as a main or only home:

  • to at least three tenants who form more than one family household
  • and the tenants share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet

Following consultation in the summer, the introduction of two new licensing schemes for private rented housing in the city was agreed at the Housing & New Homes Committee on 15 November 2017. Please find below the designation notice for the new city-wide Additional HMO licensing scheme beginning on 1 March 2018 and the revocation for the existing Additional HMO licensing scheme in seven wards of the city below. Until the new scheme comes in, the existing scheme remains in force:

Check our current HMO Licensing fees. A new fee structure for HMO Licensing Applications in Brighton & Hove is effective from 1 January 2018.

Our HMO licensing schemes

There are two types of licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in Brighton & Hove.

Citywide national licensing

The Housing Act 2004 requires landlords of larger HMOs to apply for licences. HMOs that need to be licensed are those which:

  • have three or more storeys, and which are
  • occupied by five or more people forming two or more households (ie people not related or living together as a couple), and
  • have an element of shared facilities, (eg kitchen, bathroom, etc)

Citywide additional licensing for smaller HMOs

This applies, under locally adopted schemes, to smaller houses in multiple occupation consisting of two or more storeys, with three or more occupiers from two or more households sharing facilities. The citywide scheme begins on 1 March 2018.

As far as licensing is concerned, attics and basements are included as storeys if they are used as part of the living accommodation.

What standards apply to licensed HMOs?

Licensed HMOs are generally expected to meet the council's HMO Licensing Standards (PDF 295KB). Any work necessary for compliance is required by way of conditions attached to the licence.

A guide to addressing anti social behaviour has been developed by the council's Community Safety Team to assist landlords.

Go to our frequently asked questions

HMO Licensing and Planning

Please note that processing an HMO licence application and issuing a licence does not grant any planning consent that might be required for the property to be used as a house in multiple occupation. Additional planning controls exist in Brighton & Hove meaning that full planning permission may be required to rent a property as an HMO. If you are unsure if planning consent is needed, please see our planning pre-application advice webpage on small houses in multiple occupation.

Register of HMO Licences

Updated 7 June 2018

Use the 'Find' box at top of each document or search function (<Ctrl> and <F> keys) to search the register for specific terms such as address or street names.

If you consider any of the information in these registers is incorrect, please contact the Private Sector Housing Team on 01273 293156 or email us on psh@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

Further information

For further information about the introduction of HMO Licensing, see our HMO Licensing in Sussex information sheet (PDF 243KB). Information is also available in the Communities and Local Government booklet Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation in England - A guide for landlords and managers (PDF 438KB)

If you think your property may need to be licensed or have any questions, please ring Private Sector Housing on 01273 293156 or e-mail us on psh@brighton-hove.gov.uk.