Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) make a valuable contribution to local housing as they offer a cheap and accessible form of housing for many people on low or moderate incomes. There are however strict standards regarding the health and safety of the tenants that landlords must follow, which are enforced by the individual local authority private sector housing teams. In some cases, fines can be placed on landlords that do not comply.
To help landlords comply with the requirements, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has produced a guide. It is strongly recommended however that those wishing to establish an HMO speak first with the Environmental Health Team who will be able to offer advice.
Houses in Multiple Occupation - Amenity Standards (pdf - 288kb)
Licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMO)
If you rent out a property for multiple occupancy, you may require a licence from your Local Authority.
An HMO must have a licence if all three of the following apply:
- It is an HMO (see definition of HMO above)
- It is three storeys or more (includes basements)
- It is occupied by five or more people forming at least two households.
If the whole property is in self-contained flats, licensing would not apply.
- Applications must be made to the local housing authority
- You must be a fit and proper person to hold the licence.
A summary of the regulations relating to this licence
Application Evaluation Process
Licences will be granted if:
- the house is, or can be made, suitable for multiple occupation
- the applicant is a fit and proper person and the most appropriate person to hold the licence
- the proposed manager has control of the house, and is a fit and proper person to be the manager
- the management arrangements are satisfactory.
Fees will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached. The fee is based upon an application and operating fee. Should the application not be granted, you will be refunded half the fee. If you require any assistance throughout the application process, please contact us using the details below.
It is an offence to operate a licensable house in multiple occupation without a licence. The fine can be up to £20,000.
Will Tacit Consent Apply?
Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the Local Authority by the end of the target completion period.
The EU Services Directive took effect in late December 2009 with an aim to open up the European Internal Market to cross-border trade in services. There is a requirement for Local Authorities to make certain licensing processes available online.
An online portal, "EUGO", has been established so that service providers can source information with regards to doing business within Europe. In the UK, the portal is called UK Welcomes and is hosted by Gov.UK.
Apply for a house in multiple occupancy licence
Tell us about a change to your existing house in multiple occupancy licence
Failed Application Redress
Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance. You may appeal to a residential property tribunal. Any appeal must be submitted within 28 days of the decision being made.
Licence Holder Redress
Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance. You may appeal to a residential property tribunal regarding conditions attached to a licence or any decision to vary or revoke a licence. Any appeal must be submitted within 28 days of the decision being made.
If a licence is granted and you wish to appeal against it being granted you may do so to a residential property tribunal within 28 days of the decision being made.
Please contact Epsom & Ewell Borough Council in the first instance.
British Property Federation (BPF)
National Federation of Property Professionals
More information on HMO licensing
More general information on HMO licensing can be found on the web pages of the Department of Communities and Local Government or contact the Council's Environmental Health Officer for detailed information on licensing in the Borough. A landlord guide (pdf - 133kb) is also available on this website.
Fees and Charges page
Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS):
The HHSRS is a system for assessing the health & safety risks in a dwelling. It is also a replacement for the fitness standard that was previously used to assess dwellings. More details are available on this site.
Telephone: 01372 732000