HMO (houses in multiple occupation) licences

HMOs are houses in which many unrelated people live.

The Housing Act 2004 requires large Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) to be licensed. Licences aim to ensure minimum standards of safety and maintenance for HMOs. For more information, see the Houses in multiple occupation (HMO) page on the Shelter website.

From 1 October 2018, mandatory licensing of HMOs has been extended so that smaller properties used as HMOs in England which house 5 people or more in 2 or more separate households will in many cases require a licence.

New mandatory conditions to be included in licences have also been introduced, prescribing national minimum sizes for rooms used as sleeping accommodation and requiring landlords to adhere to council refuse schemes.

Information and guidance

HMO Guide (PDF, 320KB)

Penalties for non-compliance

It is illegal to operate an HMO without a licence (unless it is an HMO that does not need a licence). The courts can impose a fine of up to £30,000 on the landlord of an unlicensed HMO. In addition, the tenants will be able to reclaim up to 12 months rent.

If an HMO should be licensed but isn’t, the landlord cannot serve notice to quit on a tenant until the licence has been obtained.

HMO public register

The Housing Act 2004 requires that local authorities hold a public register of all registered HMO’s. Our register can be viewed online.

Public register for HMO licences

Planning Permission

An application for a property licence is not one for planning permission. You will need planning permission if you are changing your property from a single-family property to a house in multiple occupation (HMO). You also need planning permission if you are splitting up a property into smaller self-contained units of accommodation. Please contact our planning department at or seek independent legal advice if you are unclear whether you have the correct planning permission for the development you intend to rent out.  

Equality monitoring

We want to ensure that we are providing a service to all sections of the community and would appreciate your assistance by completing and returning our monitoring form.

HMO monitoring form (PDF, 51KB)

HMO licence fees

For each application for a 5 year licence Application fee - Part A Part B payment Fee for assistance with application (including form completion)
Up to 5 habitable rooms £1000 £500 £170 + £10 per room
6 to 9 habitable rooms £1000 £600 £180 + £10 per room
10 to 14 habitable rooms £1000 £700 £190 + £10 per room
15 to 19 habitable rooms £1000 £800 £200 + £10 per room
20 or more habitable rooms £1000 £1000 £210 + £10 per room

If LBBD is your freeholder

It is your responsibility to get permission from leasehold services to let your property.  Please contact if you would like to discuss the permission you have for renting your property out.  If your freehold is owned by London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, you are unlikely to be granted permission to let your property as an HMO.  

If we receive an HMO licence application you will still have to pay the application fee.  The licence may be refused or granted for a reduced term to enable you to legally evict your tenants, but this does not mean that leasehold services have granted permission for your property to be occupied as an HMO.  If you pay the licence application fee and you do not have permission from leasehold services you will not be refunded.