Houses in Multiple Occupation

You may need a licence for a House in Multiple Occupation if you're renting out to several tenants who aren't members of the same family.

What a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is

Your property is an HMO if:

  • 3 or more tenants are living there as more than one household
  • tenants share the kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities

A household can be a single person, a couple or a family.

If a group of friends or professionals are sharing, each person is counted as a household. For example, a share between 5 friends would count as 5 households.

Which properties need a licence

You always need a licence for your HMO if 5 or more tenants are living there as more than one household.

In the Brighton & Hove area, including Portslade, you may also need a licence if:

  • your property has 2 or more storeys
  • 3 or more tenants are living there as more than one household

A storey is a part of the property that consists of all the rooms on that level, including attics and basements if they are used for living in. For example, a bungalow is a single-storey house. You need a separate licence for each HMO you own.

You can find more information about HMO licensing on GOV.UK.

HMO standards

If your property is a licensed HMO, you need to make sure it meets our HMO Licensing Standards (PDF 294KB).

Your licence requires you to carry out any work needed on your property so that it meets these standards.

Apply for or renew a licence

Using our online HMO form you can:

  • find out if your property needs an HMO licence
  • calculate the licence type and fee
  • apply for an HMO licence
  • renew an HMO licence you already have

Planning permission for HMOs

If you're changing the use of your property to an HMO, you should check if you need planning permission before applying for a licence.

If you need planning permission and it isn't approved, having an HMO licence will make no difference to the decision.

HMOs in Brighton & Hove

You can view the latest map of HMO neighbourhood concentrations in the city.