Planning and Housing Icon

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

These include bed-sits, student housing, and houses/flats which are occupied by people from more than one family. Standards for amenities, room sizes and management apply to these houses.

Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation

The Housing Act 2004 introduced mandatory licensing of certain Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). A licensable HMO is a house:

  • comprising of 3 or more floors
  • occupied by 5 or more unrelated persons
  • where residents share an amenity such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.

Buildings consisting solely of self-contained flats or purpose built flats are generally exempt from mandatory HMO licensing.

Middlesbrough Council keeps a list of all HMOs. View the list of licensed HMOs in Middlesbrough.

The operator of a newly created licensable HMO must apply to the council for a licence before the house is occupied. Before applying to license a new HMO, operators must read the amenity standards to ensure their property meets legal regulations. The guidance notes may be helpful in filling out an application to license an HMO.

The Housing Act 2004 also allows the council to apply to central government for an additional power to license smaller HMOs, where this is considered necessary, to address particular problems that may exist.

Licences will normally last for up to five years although a shorter period may be given.

Current licence fees are £605 for HMOs with five bedrooms. An additional £20 for each bedroom in excess of five is payable.

Register a HMO

To register, complete the HMO licence application form and return it to:

​Middlesbrough Council
Public Health and Public Protection 
PO Box 505
Civic Centre