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Private Sector Housing 

Houses in multiple occupation 

New definition of a house in multiple occupation

From 6 April 2006, the Housing Act 2004 requires that some rented properties need to be licensed. The government has therefore introduced Mandatory Licensing, a scheme to be applied across the whole of the country

It requires larger housing in multiple occupation (where many unrelated people live) to be licensed. Houses in Multiple Occupation which need to have a license consist of the following:

  • 5 or more tenants, forming 2 or more households. They use shared facilities such as toilets, bathrooms, kitchens and so on; and
  • The property has 3 or more floors. This will include cellars, basements and loft conversions

For further information on making an application for Houses in Multiple Occupation and to download our fees and application form please click here 

Mandatory HMO Licence Application
Mandatory HMO Monitoring Form
Mandatory HMO Guidance 

For further information and guidance on Houses in Multiple Occupation in East London, please click here East London HMO Guidance.

The government allows councils to introduce other types of licensing, which could require other types of property to be licensed. There has to be a reason for this being done.

An example is that there may be antisocial behaviour problems, in an identified area of the borough.

Why licensing has been introduced 

Licensing has been brought in to improve management and standards in these types of buildings. This is because in such houses there are greater risks of fire and problems of people having to share facilities.

According to figures, Houses in Multiple Occupation have some of the worst living standards with the poorest people living in them. Licensing is a way to reduce these problems.

It also recognises landlords whose buildings are in very good condition.

Click here for a list of Registered HMO Licences

If you think your property may need to be licensed, or you need any advice, please telephone Barking and Dagenham Direct on 020 8215 3002. They will take all your details and will get someone from the Private Sector Housing Team to contact you.

If you are a tenant and would like to know more about houses in multiple occupation, click here for a Guide For Tenants

Landlords of houses in multiple occupation can find out more by clicking here for a Guide For Landlords and Managers


As from the 3 July 2006 it is illegal to operate a House in Multiple Occupation without a license (unless it is a House in Multiple Occupation that does not need a license).

The courts will be able to impose a fine on landlords of unlicensed Houses in Multiple Occupation of up to £5,000, in addition the tenants will be able to reclaim up to 12 months rent.

Furthermore if a House in Multiple Occupation should be licensed, but is not, the landlord cannot serve notice to quit on a tenant until the House in Multiple Occupation is licensed.

Private Rented Property Licensing Team

Civic Centre



RM10 7BN


Phone: 020 8724 8898

Email: PrivateRentedPropertyLicensing@lbbd.gov.uk