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Multiple occupancy homes (HMO)

Private sector landlords who operate houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) are being urged to take note of changes to licensing legislation.

From 1st October 2018, any property that is let to 5 or more unrelated persons who are living as two or more separate households and who share either bathroom or cooking facilities will now require to be licenced by the Local Authority, regardless of how many storeys the property has. This is a change from the previous requirement whereby the property had to have 3 or more storeys in order to meet the licensing criteria.

In addition, statutory minimum bedroom sizes have been introduced which may reduce the maximum number of allowable occupants in some already licensed properties.

Licenses can be applied for from the Council's Private Sector Housing Service and cost £385 for a five-year period, after which they must be renewed.

Operating without a licence is a criminal offence and the penalties include a civil penalty up to £30,000 or, if prosecuted, an unlimited fine.

For more information and application forms, landlords should contact the private sector housing team on 01538 395400 x4400 or email mike.towers@highpeak.gov.uk

A house requires a licence as a House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) when:

•it's rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 household, and

•tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities

This may include properties such as bedsits and shared houses.

Application 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 (this means no criminal record, or breach of landlord laws or code of practice)
  • the proposed manager has control of the house, and is a 'fit and proper' person to be the manager
  • the management arrangements are satisfactory

How to apply

Apply online for your Housing in multiple occupation licence

Send a cheque for the relevant licence fee (first application £385.00 subsequent application £310.00) your application cannot be processed without payment. Cheques should be made payable to 'Staffordshire Moorlands District Council' write 'HMO Licence fee' on the reverse of the cheque, along with the address of the premises for which you are seeking a licence.

HMO Licensing Guidance Notes for Applicants [201KB]

Regulation summary

A summary of the regulation relating to an HMO licence

What happens if my application is refused?

Please contact Staffordshire Moorlands District Council in the first instance.  You may appeal to a residential property tribunal but any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.

Renewal or change of licence holder

Please contact our Environmental Health Team regarding a renewal or change of licence holder