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Apply for a house of multiple occupation licence (HMO)

Rules for landlords of HMOs

All HMO landlords must:

  • follow our set standards for room sizes, kitchens and bathrooms 
  • follow fire safety guidance  Housing - Fire Safety Guidance 
  • install smoke alarms and fire-fighting equipment
  • install carbon monoxide alarms where there is a solid fuel appliance i.e. a cooker, stove, woodburner, fire. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms booklet for landlords 
  • keep fire escapes in repair and free from obstruction
  • give contact details to the people living in the HMO
  • take steps to make sure people living in the HMO are not hurt by its structural condition
  • make sure there is good drainage from the HMO
  • make sure there is water supply and the supply is not unreasonably interrupted
  • supply us with annual gas safety certificates (if the HMO has gas) when asked
  • carry out safety checks on electrical installations every five years
  • make sure the supply of gas (if any) and electricity is not unreasonably interrupted
  • keep the HMO's shared areas in good condition (including decorative repair)
  • keep each person's separate living area in good condition, including fixtures and fittings
  • maintain shared gardens
  • keep in repair any outbuildings or fences belonging to the HMO
  • provide suitable facilities for getting rid of rubbish

For more information or guidance please visit

 HMO guidance (opens new window)

Rules for people living in an HMO

If you live in an HMO you must:

  • not make it hard or stop your landlord carrying out their duties
  • take care not to damage anything which the landlord has a duty to repair, maintain, keep in good order or supply
  • get rid of rubbish using the landlord's advice
  • follow all reasonable fire safety instructions given by the manager


You, or your landlord, can be fined up to £30,000 if you do not follow the rules.