Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
From 1 October 2018 all privately rented properties housing five or more persons, forming two or more households, where there is sharing (or a lack of) basic amenities such as bathrooms, toilets and kitchens will be required to be licensed by the Council.
There are some exemptions including:
- properties converted into self-contained flats before 1991
- hostels, guest houses, bed and breakfast establishments
Do I need an HMO licence?
If your HMO has five or more occupants, forming two or more households, sharing one or more of the standard amenities you need to apply for a licence. HMOs that are only made up of self-contained flats do not require a licence, although individual flats may need a licence if the relevant criteria apply.
How do I apply for an HMO licence?
From 1 November 2018 all HMO licence applications will be processed on behalf of Great Yarmouth Borough Council by The Home Safe Scheme Limited, our HMO application service partner. To submit your application, visit The Home Safe Scheme website.
Payment will be required upon application, as before, and if everything is satisfactory with your application Home Safe will forward your payment to us with the recommendation to issue your licence.
Please take note that if you are considering applying for an HMO licence, you should contact the Council's Planning Team to check that the property has planning permission for HMO use.
My HMO is not licensable - is there anything I need to do?
What information will I need to supply when applying for a licence?
You will have to supply:
- Details of the licence holder
- Details of the management arrangements
- Any other ownership details
- Details of the property, including a simple layout plan with room sizes
- A current gas safety certificate (if applicable)
- A current automatic fire detection certificate (if applicable)
What are the criteria for a licence to be granted?
Your application will be forwarded to us once Home Safe has confirmed it is satisfied with your application, and has received and advanced the correct fee.
We will only grant a licence once we are satisfied:
- The proposed licence holder is a fit and proper person and the most appropriate person to hold the licence
- Proper management standards are being applied at the property
- The HMO is suitable or can be made suitable for the number of tenants allowed under the licence.
- The HMO at least meets the minimum standards of amenities and facilities
What happens if I do not apply for a licence or break the rules of the licence?
You will be committing an offence if you fail to apply for a licence or allow a property to be occupied by more people than are permitted on your HMO licence. You could be fined up to £20,000 and have to repay up to 12 months' rent to tenants or to the Council.
Where a qualifying HMO is not licensed, the landlord cannot serve a tenant with a Section 21 Notice to Quit until the HMO is licensed.
Do I need to inform anyone else about my application?
Yes, you should complete and send a copy of your completed application form to each of the following:
- Any mortgagee
- Any owner of the property to which the application is related (if that is not you), ie the freeholder and any head lessors who are known to you
- Any other person who is a tenant or long leaseholder of the property or any part of it (including a flat) who is known to you, other than a statutory tenant or other tenant whose lease or tenancy is for less than three years (including a periodic tenancy)
- The proposed licence holder (if that is not you)
- The proposed managing agent (if that is not you)
- Any person who has agreed that he/she will be bound by any conditions in a licence if it is granted
How much does a licence cost?
How much does a licence cost?
New HMO licences
Renewal of HMO licences
|Total||Part A||Part B||Total||Part A||Part B|
HMO with accommodation for five occupiers
|Each additional unit of accommodation||£33.00||£33.00|
|Variation of HMO licence||£33.00|
- Part A - is for the processing of a licence application and will need to be paid on completion of the approved application
- Part B - is required to be paid prior to granting of the licence and is for the operation and enforcement of the scheme
- your application is not "duly made" until both fees are paid - your licence will not be issued until Part B fee is paid
- variation of a licence should be applied for directly from Great Yarmouth Borough Council, as the Home safe Scheme is only processing new and renewal applications
How long does a licence last?
A licence usually lasts for five years (shorter in some circumstances).
What standards does an HMO need to meet?
Why does an HMO need to be licensed?
HMOs with five or more occupants, forming two or more households, share one or more of the standard amenities, need to be licensed by law. The aim of HMO licensing is to make sure they are properly managed and meet legal standards. Having a licence acts as proof of the quality of accommodation you are providing.
Licensing HMOs ensures tenants can live in decent and safe homes.
Someone else manages my HMO, who should apply?
As the landlord you can hold the licence yourself or nominate someone else - such as a manager or agent - to be the licence holder. Whoever applies should be the 'most appropriate person' to hold the licence - usually the person who receives the rent.
What happens if I am refused an HMO licence?
If we inspect your HMO and find there is no prospect of it being licensed we may issue an Interim Management Order - which allows the Council to take on the management of the property. This can last up to a year, until suitable alternative management arrangements can be made.
Are HMO licences transferable?
No, HMO licences cannot be transferred to another person or property. If you wish to sell your property as an HMO, the new landlord - or most appropriate person - will have to apply for a licence.
What if my property becomes unlicensable after a licence has been granted?
If the circumstances of your property change, for example, if the number of occupants falls below five, you may apply for a revocation of your licence. You can do this by giving us the details in writing. You will receive a partial refund. This should be applied for directly with us (Great Yarmouth Borough Council), as Home Safe is only processing new and renewal applications.
How is my submitted data used by the Council?
Privacy Notice: Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
Who we are
Great Yarmouth Borough Council takes your privacy very seriously and provides the following in compliance with data protection legislation.
Why we process your data
We are required to process this data as part of the performance of our task as a public authority under Article 6(1)(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679.
What we do with your data
We will hold your personal data securely and ordinarily retain it for five years from the expiry of the licence period. We may lawfully share your data only with third parties of a public authority, namely:
- the Police
- Department of Justice
- Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service
- Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
- other local authorities across the UK
Your data may be shared with these authorities for the purpose of the 'Fit and Proper' test, and for our obligations under Chapter 3 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016. In addition to the above, the name and home address of both the Licence Holder and the Agent, plus information about the property, will be published in a HMO Public Register on our website and made freely available to the public. This is in order to comply with section 11 of The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (England) Regulations 2006.
If the property to be licensed is under a mortgage agreement, we will notify your lender and send a copy of the licence proposal for them to communicate any representation.
Under data protection legislation you have the right to request access to, rectification, restriction, erasure, portability or objection to the processing of your personal data as detailed in our Data Protection Policy. See our Data protection page for further information.
You can contact our Data Protection Officer for any queries about your data rights on firstname.lastname@example.org. You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the regulator, the Information Commissioner, at https://ico.org.uk/.