Lifestyle real estate

How to Check if Your House Has an HMO License

Are you a landlord or a tenant wondering if a property holds a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) license? Understanding whether a property has this license is crucial, as it ensures compliance with legal regulations and safety standards. In this guide, we’ll delve into the various methods you can use to check if a house has an HMO license and how to apply for an HMO license, providing you with the necessary knowledge to navigate the rental market confidently.

Understanding HMO Licensing 

House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing is a regulatory framework designed to ensure the safety and welfare of tenants residing in shared accommodation. Properties classified as HMOs typically house three or more tenants forming two or more households and share amenities such as bathrooms, kitchens, or toilets.

Methods to Check HMO License Status 

Verifying the HMO status of a property is essential for both landlords and tenants. Here are several methods you can utilize to confirm whether households have an HMO license:

  1. Local Authority Websites

Many local authorities maintain online databases where you can search for properties with HMO licenses. Visit your local council’s website and navigate to the housing or licensing section to access this information. You’ll typically need the property address or specific details to perform the search.

  1. Contacting the Local Council

Contact your local council directly if you need help finding the information online. They should be able to provide details regarding a property’s HMO licensing status. Prepare relevant information, such as the property address and additional details that might aid the search process.

  1. Property Licensing Registers

Some regions maintain centralized registers or databases specifically for property licensing, including HMO licenses. These registers often allow you to search by address or license number, providing quick access to the desired information.

  1. Physical Inspection of the Property

In some cases, particularly if you’re a prospective tenant, you may opt to inspect the property for any signs of HMO licensing. Look for notices or certificates displayed within the premises, indicating compliance with licensing requirements. Additionally, you can inquire with the landlord or letting agent during property viewings.

  1. Online Property Portals

Certain online property portals or rental platforms may include information about a property’s licensing status within the listing details. While this information might not always be available, it can be an initial reference point during your property search.

how to Apply for an HMO Licence

To apply for an HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) license, contact your local council’s housing department or visit their website to obtain the necessary application forms and guidance. The process usually involves providing details about the property, including its layout and facilities, and information about the landlord or managing agent. You may also need to demonstrate compliance with certain safety regulations and standards, such as fire safety measures and occupancy limits. Once the application is submitted, the council will assess it and may conduct inspections before granting the license.

Understanding HMO License Conditions 

Once you’ve confirmed a property’s HMO license status, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the associated conditions and obligations. HMO licenses often come with specific requirements regarding property management, safety standards, and tenant welfare.


**Q1: Is it mandatory for all HMOs to have a license?**

A1: In many regions, properties meeting the criteria for HMO classification are required to obtain a license from the local council. However, depending on jurisdiction, there may be exemptions or variations in licensing requirements.

**Q2: How often does an HMO license need to be renewed?**

A2: HMO licenses typically have a validity period, after which they must be renewed. Renewal periods vary by jurisdiction but commonly range from one to five years. Landlords must ensure timely renewal to maintain compliance.

**Q3: What are the consequences of operating an unlicensed HMO?**

A3: Operating an unlicensed HMO can result in severe penalties, including hefty fines and legal action. Also, landlords may need help enforcing tenancy agreements or obtaining possession orders for unlicensed properties.

**Q4: Can tenants request proof of HMO licensing from landlords?**

A4: Yes, tenants can request evidence of HMO licensing from landlords or property managers. Landlords are obligated to provide this information upon request, as failure to do so may constitute a breach of legal obligations.

**Q5: Are there any exemptions to HMO licensing requirements?**

A5: Some jurisdictions may exempt certain properties from HMO licensing requirements, such as owner-occupied properties with limited occupants. However, it’s essential to verify specific exemptions applicable to your situation.


Ensuring that a property holds an HMO license is crucial for landlords and tenants to uphold safety standards and legal compliance. You can confidently verify the HMO status by utilizing methods such as checking local authority databases, contacting the council, or inspecting the property. Remember to familiarize yourself with the associated license conditions and obligations to ensure a smooth and compliant tenancy experience.

You may also like...