Houses in multiple occupation

Houses that are occupied by three or more people who do not live as a single household are known as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO), for example:

  • Bedsits
  • Shared houses and lodgings
  • Employment or educational accommodation
  • Shared accommodation for homeless people
  • Residential Care Homes and similar establishments 

HMO licences - the law has changed

By 1 October 2018 Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) must be licensed if they are

  • rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 household
  • tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities

You can be fined up to £20,000 for renting out an unlicensed HMO.  

Licences will be given if:

  • the house is or can be made suitable for multiple occupation
  • the applicant is the most appropriate person to hold the licence
  • the proposed manager has control of the house and is the best person to be the manager
  • the management arrangements are satisfactory.

Licence fees

Type of feeAmount
Application  £262
Issue of approved licence £358
Total £620

The overall fee for a 3 year approved licence is £620.  HMO Licences are split into 2 parts. To make an application there is a fee of £262.

If your application is successful, you will receive an invoice from the Council for the licence issue fee, this fee is £358. Your licence will not be granted until this invoice has been paid.

We will not refund any fees.

Apply for a HMO licence

Please note: applying online works best when using Internet Explorer. If you are a user of Chrome you will require the 'Acrobat Reader Chrome Extension'. To download this extension please visit the Adobe website.

Posted applications should be sent to Operational Services, Environmental & Regulatory Services, Cotswold District Council, Trinity Road, Cirencester, GL7 1PX, with a cheque payable to 'Cotswold District Council', alternatively payment can be made by phoning 01285 623000.

Approval of the HMO licence

We will aim to decide your application within 8 weeks of receipt of a complete application.

Tacit consent does not apply, therefore, you cannot assume that the licence has been automatically granted if the 8 week period has passed. It is in the public interest that the Council must process your application before it can be granted. If we are unable to come to a decision within 8 weeks, we will contact you with further advice.  

The licence for your HMO is valid for a maximum of three years and you will need to apply for another licence before the current one expires.

Cotswold District Council
Trinity Road