Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
Apply for a HMO licence
You need a licence from us if you rent a property to tenants as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), which:
- is at least 3 storeys high (or 2 storeys if above a commercial unit)
- has at least 5 tenants living there, forming more than 1 household
- has shared facilities between tenants such as a toilet, bathroom or kitchen
A licence is valid for five years and must be renewed before it runs out.
The current fee structure for an HMO licence was introduced by the Executive on 3 July 2017. You can read the full report on the decision to set these fees.
There are two fees to pay.
The ‘fee on application’ covers the cost of administration and inspection. This payment is based on the number of rooms being let and should be made with the application – see table below.
The ‘fee on grant of licence’ covers the cost of the overall management of the HMO licence. This payment is payable just before the licence is granted.
Once a HMO licence is granted, a refund will only be given in exceptional circumstances at our discretion, as the fees are calculated to cover our costs, which may have already been incurred.
|No. bedrooms ('units of accommodation' or 'households')||Fee on application (non refundable)||Fee on grant of licence|
Apply for a licence
To apply for a HMO licence, you will need to:
- Download a HMO licence application form
- Complete your application form - you can refer to our application guidance notes for further information
- Return your completed form to us by email at email@example.com
Ways to pay
This is the preferred method of payment as it is quick and secure.
Make a payment and select 'Environmental Health'.
By debit card
You should state with your application form that this is how you wish to pay and an officer will call you to arrange payment.
Cheques should be made payable to Wandsworth Council. You should not send cash through the post.
Post your cheque to:Wandsworth Council
Private Sector Housing Team
Wandsworth high Street
What happens next
Once you have submitted your application, we will review it to make sure it is complete and the initial fee has been paid.
We will then contact you to arrange to inspect the property to make sure it is suitable. An officer will inform you if:
- any changes are needed to the property before a licence can be granted
- a licence can be granted subject to additional conditions
- a licence will be refused
In most cases, properties can be made suitable if required improvements are made, although the officer will determine the maximum number of occupants the HMO is suitable to accommodate bearing in mind the size of the HMO, the number and size of rooms and the amenities provided.
After you have submitted your application, you are allowed to operate an HMO, as if you have a licence, until we determine the licence.
If you have not heard from us within 4 weeks of making the application, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appealing a decision or condition
If you want to appeal against a condition attached to your licence or you have been refused a licence, you may appeal to the Residential Property Tribunal.
Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.