Skip to main content

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - For information on changes to our services, how to get help, support your community, advice and grants for employers and businesses visit our Coronavirus pages.

  1. Home
  2. Housing
  3. Private housing
  4. Houses in multiple occupation

Houses in multiple occupation

Houses that are occupied by three or more people who do not live as a single household are known as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO), for example:

  • Bedsits
  • Shared houses and lodgings
  • Employment or educational accommodation
  • Shared accommodation for homeless people
  • Residential Care Homes and similar establishments 

HMO licences

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) must be licensed if:

  • they are rented to five or more people who form more than one household
  • tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities

You can be fined an unlimited amount for renting out an unlicensed HMO.  

Licences will be given if:

  • the house is or can be made suitable for multiple occupation
  • the applicant is the most appropriate person to hold the licence
  • the proposed manager has control of the house and is the best person to be the manager
  • the management arrangements are satisfactory.

Licence fees

The total cost for a three year approved licence is £651. 

HMO Licences are split into two parts:

  • to make an application there is a fee
  • if your application is successful, you will receive an invoice from the Council for the licence issue fee

The application fee is not refundable.

Apply for a HMO licence

You can apply online through GOV.UK.

Apply online for a HMO licence

To apply by post complete and return the form. Payment can be made by with a cheque payable to 'West Oxfordshire District Council', or by phoning 01993 861000. 

Approval of the HMO licence

We will aim to decide your application within 16 weeks of receipt of a complete application.

Tacit consent does not apply, therefore, you cannot assume that the licence has been automatically granted if the 16 week period has passed. It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted. If we are unable to come to a decision within 16 weeks, we will contact you with further advice.  

The licence for your HMO is valid for a maximum of three years and you will need to apply for another licence before the current one expires.