Shropshire Council

Houses in multiple occupation

What is a house in multiple occupation (HMO)?

An HMO is a house or flat that is occupied as a main residence, by more than one household 

In addition, houses entirely converted into self-contained flats not in strict compliance with the Building Regulations 1991, with at least one third occupied as flats on short tenancies are classed as HMOs.

To assist with working out the requirements for your individual property please view our HMO Amenity Standards. These standards are separate to the current Housing Standards as assessed by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, which are legal requirements.  Please note the HMO Amenity Standards are currently being reviewed and updated version will be located here when it is available.

Which types of HMO need a licence?

The Housing and Planning Act 2016 extends mandatory HMO licensing to include additional HMOs of all storeys which meet the above criteria. Owners must apply for their HMO licences by October 2018.  

Nationally, HMOs occupied by five or more people, in two or more households, where there is sharing of facilities, eg kitchen or bathroom, must be licensed. This is a mandatory government requirement.

This would include, for example, houses containing bedsits, a combination of bedsits and self-contained flats where the bedsits share facilities, and also shared houses and hostels.

If you're unsure of the status of your property, please contact the Community Protection Team using the contact details on this page.

You can search the register of licensed HMOs in Shropshire using our Online Licensing Register

Are any properties exempt?

Certain types of property are exempt from licensing, and these include:

  • Local authority-owned properties, whether freehold or leasehold
  • Properties owned or managed by public bodies, such as registered social landlords, health service bodies or police authorities
  • Properties regulated by other legislation, for instance care homes, children's homes and bail houses

Applying for a licence

If you'd like to apply for an HMO licence, please complete the application form and return it to us along with the required documents. 

Payment can be made online (select the Licensing HMO option from the drop down list) or you can call 0345 678 9067 to make a card payment.

The cost is £1200 up to and including five units, and a further £170 per each additional unit thereafter. 

Please see our guidance notes on completing the HMO licence application form, and also our licensing procedure to view how the process works. Should you require further information please contact the Housing Enforcement Team – details are below. 

Changes to HMO licence conditions from 1 October 2018

New licence conditions will be introduced by the Licensing of HMOs (Mandatory Conditions of Licenses)(England) Regulations 2018:

  • To regulate the size and use of rooms as sleeping accommodation in licensed HMOs
  • To require the licence holder to comply with their local authority scheme for the provision of facilities for the proper disposal and storage of domestic refuse

Additionally Shropshire Council are requiring:

  • Criminal record certificates to be provided in connection with applications for licences under the Housing Act 2004 (must have been issued in the past three years)
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors in rooms where there is a solid fuel or gas appliance