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HMO Licensing 

Mandatory Licensing requires houses in multiple occupations (HMO's) shared by 5 or more unrelated people forming 2 or more households who share facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms, to have a licence. 

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 about the bedroom sizes, condition and safety of the property
  • Details about 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 has 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. It is an offence to provide false or misleading information.

 The application will either refuse or grant a licence. Licences will have certain standard conditions relating to the management of the property and may have other conditions added 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.

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 a HMO.


  • Three friends = 3 households
  • A couple and a 1 friend = 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 household because they are not related
  • 2 families would be 2 households


An HMO with 5 or more unrelated persons, from more than one household, sharing facilities will require a Mandatory HMO licence. This applies to all HMO properties in England, although there is an exception to the rule (stated below).

Exemption to Mandatory HMO licensing

  • For an individual flat of 5 or more tenants, located inside a purpose built block of three or more self-contained flats, Mandatory HMO licensing does not apply.
  • If your flat is in a purpose built block that contains 2 self-contained flats and is an HMO of 5 or more tenants it will require Mandatory HMO licensing.

The flats may still need a licence as the council operates an Additional and Selective licensing scheme currently running until 2023. Some buildings with flats may require more than one type of licence.

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-month time 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.

Before issuing the full licence (or refusal) we issue a draft licence (or refusal). This allows you to study the document and then make representations to us.

Once the full licence (or refusal) has been issued, you have 28 days to appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal (FTT). Please visit the FTT pages for details of how to appeal.

Please click here to visit the DASH Decent and Safe Homes website for further information or the Legislation website Statutory Instrument. You can also contact the HMO Team within Environmental Health.

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 or by e-mail at for clarification.

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