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Apply for a House in Multiple Occupation licence

To reduce sharing problems and to ensure multiple occupancy homes are of a decent standard, landlords need a licence for a large House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

GOV.UK provide a useful 'Licensing House in Multiple Occupation guide' for landlords and managers.


Fee or charge Current fee
Initial Application (Full Fee) £950
Initial Application (discounted fee for holding accreditation) £850
Renewal Application (Full Fee) £900
Renewal Application (discounted fee for holding accreditation) £800

Initial licensing fees

Initial licensing fees apply when either:

  • the property hasn't been previously licensed as a HMO
  • the property was previously licensed, but the licence holder has changed since from the previous licence

Re-licensing fees

Re-licensing fees apply when both:

  • the property has been previously licensed as an HMO
  • the proposed licence holder is the same person, or body, named as licence holder on the previous licence

HMO licence application fees are non-refundable. 

If you pay the incorrect fee you will be invoiced for any difference.

How to pay

As part of the submission of your completed online application, the fee will be calculated and you will be asked to make payment by card. If you have any queries contact Community Connections:

Once the licence has been issued you must:

  • follow management and housing standards
  • ensure the property provides safe and healthy housing conditions
  • ensure involved in the management remain suitable for their roles
  • let us know if the manager changes (we may need to vary the licence)
  • let us know if the licence holder changes (the new licence holder will need to apply)
  • let us know if the owner changes (the purchaser will need to apply)

If you operate a property without a licence (when one is required) the following can apply:

  • Prosecution with the potential for an unlimited fine
  • Loss of rent
  • Management orders
  • A civil penalty of up to £30,000
  • Entry on the Rogue Landlord Database
  • A Banning Order

On submission of your application you will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours. This will include a payment receipt. The receipt will have a reference that includes a number e.g.  FSEX00368819.

Please email if you do not receive an email, or if your receipt reference doesn’t contain numbers so that we can check if your application has been received.

We will process your application within 12 months from the date that you submit your completed satisfactory application. When justified by the complexity of the issue, this period may be extended by us once.

In the event of a failure to process the application within the period set or extended, deemed consent does not apply and you must not assume that your licence has been granted, as Plymouth City Council consider that it is in the public interest for health and safety reasons for us to process applications before a HMO licence is granted.

We are currently processing applications within 3 months. If you have not received your licence decision within this timescale please contact us to check on your application.

Planning permissions

It is the Licence Holder’s responsibility to ensure that the property, for which a HMO licence application has been submitted, has the correct planning permissions in place for use as a HMO. If you are in doubt, please contact our Planning department on 01752 304366 or by emailing

If it is found that the property does not have the correct planning permissions in place, when deciding whether to grant a licence, we may look to issue a licence with a shorter licence period. We would expect the licence holder to make application to obtain the relevant permissions and notify this department.


You need to attach the following with your completed application form:

  • A periodic inspection report of the electrical wiring installation (less than five years old), even if it identifies faults
  • A gas safety certificate in respect of the gas installation and landlord's gas fittings where these are provided (no older than 12 months)
  • Where there's a grade A or grade A plus D fire alarm system, an inspection certificate (no older than 12 months)
  • A plan of the property, this doesn't need to be architectural quality or to scale but should show the layout and proportions of the property (new applications and renewals where there have been changes, see guidance below)

Certificates must be current and the inspections carried out by competent persons. They must be original (not photocopies), although we'll accept scanned originals as PDF files.

If you're unable to complete an online application contact Community Connections

Notification of changes

A HMO licence is issued to a specific party and is not transferable. If a licenced HMO is sold then you must notify the Local Authority. 

If you intend to make changes to the property or its occupation you should ensure this does not result in a breach of your licence. It is recommended you contact the Local Authority to discuss any proposed changes. A request to vary a HMO licence can be made by the licence holder.

To notify the Local Authority of sale of a property, or to discuss or request a variation of the HMO licence please email and include HMO in the subject.