Mandatory Licensing for HMO's

The storey-height criteria has been removed. This means any HMO that is occupied by five or more persons who form two or more separate households, and who share basic amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet, will require a licence. See Section 254 of the Housing Act 2004 for the definitions of HMOs.

Please click here to see more information on legislation.

The government has also introduced the following measures regarding room sizes that will be included as mandatory conditions on Licences:   

  • a minimum floor area for any bedroom occupied by a single person under 10 years of age to be 4.64m²
  • a minimum floor area for any bedroom occupied by a single person of 6.51m²
  • a minimum floor area for any bedroom occupied by two persons of 10.22m²
  • to require landlords and agents to have appropriate arrangements in place for the storage and disposal of household waste, pending collection

Please click here to see more about the regulations

The new fee structure for Additional and Mandatory Licensing was approved on 18 September 2018. This has come into effect and applies to all HMO licence applications made on or after 19 September 2018. 

Owners of HMOs of a 'prescribed description' must apply for a licence, when it is a HMO occupied by 5 or more unrelated people in two or more households, but which are not buildings converted solely into self-contained flats must have a licence. 

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 is 3 households
  • A couple and a 1 friend is 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

Anyone can apply for a licence, but they must nominate a person or a company to be the licence holder. This would often be the owner, but could also be a managing agent or anyone else, provided that the licence holder has sufficient financial control over the property.

The Housing Act sets out the requirement for a licensing fee and this is set by the Local Authority. The fee will be collected in two parts and the first part payment is required for an application to be considered as duly made*.

*duly made is the point in which we accept an application as being submitted with all of the information that is legally required

What happens if I do not apply for a renewal before the date of expiry of my current Licence?

You will need to make a new licence application and Nottingham City Council will apply the fee which is applicable at the time for renewals.

The City Council may decide to issue the Licence for any amount of time, up to a maximum of five years. 


Payment can be made over the telephone by debit or credit card.  Please note that the City Council does not accept cash. Once your application is received and reviewed a member of the team will contact you to make the first payment. The second part payment will become due when the licence is granted. If the licence is not granted the second part payment will not become payable.

Payment can be made by cheque (payable to Nottingham City Council) until the 31st December 2018 after that date cheque`s will no longer be accepted.

Coming in 2019; only card payments will be taken via the new online application system and will be required before the application is submitted to us.

The fee is none refundable.

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. Licenses 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.

Before issuing the full licence (or refusal) we issue a draft licence (or refusal). This gives you the opportunity 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.

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 a 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.

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 (Options 5) or by e-mail at hmo@nottinghamcity.gov.uk  for clarification.

There are restrictions which apply to changing the use of dwellings.  Please visit the Planning pages of the web site for further information, particularly in relation to the Article 4 Direction which applies directly to the conversion of single family dwellings into HMOs.

Accreditation last for 3 year under the Nottingham Standard (Unipol or DASH).

Landlords who claimed a discount on their licence fee as a result of being accredited must maintain their accreditation for the duration for their licence or return the discount/pay the difference between the lower and standard fee if it lapses.


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