Types of HMO licence

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a property occupied by 3 or more people (including children) who form more than 1 family. A family includes co-habiting partners. The tenancy agreement is not relevant in working out if a house is an HMO. 

A HMO requires a licence and a landlord commits an offence by letting a HMO without a licence. 

There are 2 types of HMO licence:

Mandatory licence

This applies to large HMOs that are 3 or more storeys and occupied by 5 or more unrelated people who share facilities. These might be a kitchen, bathroom or toilet. It also includes a property with flats which do not have all amenities behind their own lockable front door.

When counting the number of floors, you must count all storeys in residential occupation, even if they are self-contained. This includes basements, loft conversions and attics if they can be occupied or are used in connection with the occupation of the HMO.  It also includes any floors used by a resident landlord and their family, and any business premises or storage space.

This is a national scheme.

Additional licence

This is required by HMOs which are not covered by the mandatory licence (including flats in multiple occupation), and which are occupied by 3 or more people who form more than 1 family. The number of storeys is not important. 

This is a local scheme to Camden.

Apply for a HMO licence

Please read the following documents before you apply. They explain what information and documentation you must submit with your application.

Apply for a HMO licence

The application will take around 45 minutes to complete.

After you’ve applied

We aim to contact you within 2 weeks of receiving a full application to arrange an inspection of the property.

We aim to draft the licence conditions (with any works necessary) and send them to you and other persons with an interest in the property within 6 weeks of the inspection. Once we have done this you have 14 days in which to make any representations. A representation is your opportunity to comment on the licence.

A licence will last a maximum of 5 years.

Help with your application

If you need help filling in the form, book an appointment to come and see us by calling 020 7974 5969. We are based at 5 Pancras Square library.

Reclaiming tenant rent and benefit

It is a criminal offence for a landlord to manage or control a house in multiple occupation without a licence under Housing Act 2004.

The council can reclaim up to 12 months of housing benefit or universal credit which has been paid to the landlord during the period the property was unlicensed. 

Private tenants can reclaim up to 12 months of rent if they can prove the landlord has committed or been convicted of an offence outlined below:

  • your landlord has rented a HMO without a licence
  • you have been illegally evicted or harassed by your landlord
  • your landlord has used violence to secure entry to a property
  • your landlord has failed to comply with enforcement action

Your landlord has no right to make you leave your home because you are applying for a Rent Repayment Order.