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HMO Licensing

Additional Licensing requires houses in multiple occupations (HMO's) shared by 3 or more unrelated people who are forming 2 or more households and who share facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms, to have a licence in a designated area. Purpose-built flats will be covered in this scheme.

Update on a third scheme of Additional licensing

In September the Council’s Executive Board approved a third scheme of Additional licensing to be citywide, starting in January 2024.

When do I apply for a new licence?

The third scheme of Additional licensing starts on 1 January 2024. If your licence has expired, you can apply now on the link below. If your licence has not expired yet you do not need to reapply until your licence expires is due.

Designated area

The Additional Licensing scheme 2024 will cover all areas of the city. It’s estimated to cover over 2,300 privately rented HMOs in this citywide designated area. It's really important that you check if your property is in a licensing designated area.

  • You can check to see if your property is in a designated area by visiting MyProperty NCC Webpage just enter your property postcode or street name. - My Property - Nottingham City Council

Additional Licensing scheme

Additional Licensing is a scheme that requires most smaller private rented Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) properties to be licensed.

Third Licensing Scheme

Some properties, are exempt from licensing see Schedule 14 of the Housing Act.

Other schemes

There are two other property licensing schemes operating in Nottingham affecting privately rented homes in a designated area from 1 December 2023 called Selective Licensing and larger HMO Mandatory Licensing that has operated since 2006. If your property does not need an Additional Licence, it may still need one of these other types of licences.

What licensing means for tenants

If someone rents a home in Nottingham City the landlord probably needs a licence.

Most HMO Tenants in Nottingham should only be renting from a landlord who has a property licence or has applied for one. If you become aware of an unlicensed property that’s being rented out, then you can report it below.

Something to Say? - Nottingham City Council

Apply for a licence

Completing this service should take around 90 minutes.

To complete this service you will need.

  • Photo ID for the proposed licence holder and manager
  • Gas Safety Certificate                                          
  • Energy Performance Certificate 
  • Evidence of landlord insurance for the property
  • Emergency Escape Lighting Test Certificate (if present)
  • Fire Alarm Test Certificate 
  • Most recent portable appliance test (PAT) certificate
  • Building regulations completion certificate and planning consents (If applicable)
  • Evidence of relevant training (if undertaken)
  • Written Fire Safety Risk Assessment (If applicable)
  • A valid, in date, satisfactory Electrical Installation Condition Report or an Electrical Installation Certificate

You will also need the following:

  • The proposed licence holders and proposed managers name, address and contact details
  • The name, address and contact details for any other person with an interest in the property, such as other owners, leaseholders, freeholders and mortgage companies
  • Confirmation and date of having served a notice of the application to the those with an interest in the property
  • Details in relation to the bedroom sizes, condition and safety of the property
  • Details in relation to how the property is managed
  • If accredited; the accreditation number of the licence holder/manager
  • You will also be required to attend Landlord training courses within 12 months of being issued the licence
Apply for a licence

A Variation on a Licence

If you need to change your licensing details, you can apply for a variation on licence here.

Variation on your licence.

A Renewal of a Licence

You can apply for a renewal of a licence on the same form.

Renewal of your licence.

The licence fee policy document linked below contains information about the licence fees, refunds, accreditation and a number of other useful areas. If you have a question about HMOs that is not covered in the document, you can email your question to and we will be happy to assist you.

The Council will consider whether:

  • The property is suitable for the number of persons requested
  • The proposed licence holder and manager are 'fit and proper persons'
  • The arrangements for managing the property are satisfactory as per the HMO Management Regulations

The Council will use the information you provide in the application and may also inspect the property to make its assessment.

We will then either refuse or grant a licence. Licences will have certain standard conditions relating to the management of the property and may have other conditions requiring, for example, the installation of further amenities.


Payment can be made over the telephone by debit or credit card. Please note only card payments will be taken via the online application system and will be required before the application is submitted to us. Please note that the City Council does not take payments via cheque.

Tacit Consent Will Not Apply

No tacit consent is applicable to this type of application. If you have not been contacted by us within a reasonable time following the submission of a duly made application, then please do contact us at

Landlords and agents who fail to apply for a licence face the risk of further enforcement action which could include a financial penalty of up to £30,000 or prosecution with an unlimited fine. In addition to this, a record of non-compliance with Housing Law may affect your ability to hold a licence.

In cases where a successful prosecution or multiple financial penalties are issued may result in a Banning Order against the guilty person, this would mean they are unable to hold a licence and may result in their properties being taken over by the Council.


Some flats are also covered under the Additional Licensing Scheme and some buildings with flats may require a licence or more than one type of licence.

  • Flats within a purpose built accommodation

(where there are 3 or more occupants from 2 or more households, see the definition for households below this is a HMO)

  • Converted blocks of flats

The whole building could require a licence or each flat

  • Buildings with self-contained flats

Some buildings can also require more than one licence.

If one (or more) of the flats are occupied as an HMO then this will need a licence (as mentioned directly above), however, the whole building may also need a licence if:

  • It does not meet the 1991 Building Regulations (or those thereafter)
  • No more than two-thirds of the building is owner-occupied

This is unless all of the flats within the building are licensed separately.


Households: a household can be one person or several people. A group of people that are related, or living as a couple or family are 1 household*.

*includes couples, same-sex couples and children including fostered and adopted and any other relatives.

Note: Where tenants claim to be related we expect landlords and/or managers to have taken out appropriate checks to be confident that they are related and the property is not being occupied as an HMO.


  • Three unrelated friends equal 3 households
  • A couple and a 1 friend equals 2 households
  • A couple living with their parent are 1 household
  • A couple, sharing with 3 strangers who are all friends but not related would be 4 households
  • 2 friends would be 2 households because they are not related
  • 2 families would be 2 households


Planning Permission

Most privately rented homes in Nottingham now require a licence, please note Planning Permission and the Housing Licensing are not the same thing and you may need both.

Article 4 Direction means that you need to obtain planning permission to convert a family dwelling to an HMO with between 3 and 6 unrelated people sharing in the Nottingham area. Planning permission is already required for properties shared by 7 or more unrelated people.

With Article 4 being City wide in Nottingham, it is unlikely that you will be granted planning permission for a change of use from C3 (family) to HMO use either C4 (HMO 3-6) or Sui Generis (HMO 7 or more). There are separate set fee's for applying for planning permission and this cost is totally separate and is not included with the cost of making a Housing Licensing application.

Article 4 Directions have also been put in place on several specific properties, mostly within conservation areas. These impose restrictions on minor building work, such as small extensions, outbuildings, and changes to windows and doors.

You should contact our Planning Team to discuss any plans you have and if you will need planning permission, or call 01158764447.

Applying for a Housing Licence Without the correct Planning Permission

If you apply for a HMO licence (Mandatory or Additional) and the property has changed use from C3 (family) to C4 (HMO) or Sui Generis (HMO) without planning permission, you may be granted a licence for only a 12 months period, every application will be considered on its own merits. This 12 months period will allow you the opportunity to regularise and put the planning affairs of your property in order by applying for Change of Use permission. The full HMO licence fee will still be payable and is non-refundable even when a 12-month licence is granted.

If you’re granted planning permission or win an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, you will need to quickly apply to vary the HMO licence, this is not automatic and you will need to request that it be varied to expire in 5 years after the duly made date of the original HMO licence application. You must apply to vary the licence on your own initiative, if you forget then the licence will expire. If you’re refused permission or lose your appeal, the licence will be allowed to expire and you must take steps to ensure the property does not require a HMO licence if you do not have the correct permissions in place. During this time it may be necessary to apply for a Temporary Exemption Notice whilst winding down the HMO business.

If you request to vary the licence when you’ve not applied for planning permission during those 12 months and planning permission has been refused, or your appeal to the Planning Inspectorate has been unsuccessful, we’ll generally refuse to vary the licence and allow it to expire at the 12 month mark. If you apply for a HMO licence after Planning Permission has been refused already, or all avenues of appeal have been exhausted, we’ll may still refuse to grant a licence. The full HMO licence fee will be payable and is non-refundable if a licence is refused.

If you are the owner, manager or person in control of an HMO and are in any doubt whether it needs a Licence, please contact the HMO Team within Environmental Health on 0115 915 2000 (Options 5) or by e-mail at for clarification.

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