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.

Planning permission for HMOs

If you're changing the use of your property to an HMO, you should check if you need planning permission

If you need a licence, you need to apply for planning permission before applying for the licence.

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

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.

Additional licensing scheme 

If a property has less than 5 tenants it is no longer licensable as our Additional HMO Licensing scheme ended on 28 February 2023.  

Work is currently being done to see whether another scheme would be necessary and appropriate, so it you may need to license again in the coming months. We will let you know if this is the case, and give you time to make an application.  

Although these properties will not fall under a current licensing scheme, they are still HMOs. This means they still fall under our regulatory control with the Housing Health and Safety Rating System and the Houses of Multiple Occupation Management Regulations and we are likely to apply the same fire safety and amenity standards. 

If evidence supports the need for a further licensing scheme, this will be subject to a public consultation. Landlords and agents will be notified on how to make their views known before a final decision is made. 

We will send further information to landlords and agents when a decision has been made regarding HMO licensing in the city. 

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

HMOs in Brighton & Hove

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