Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

An HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) is a property that is occupied by three or more people creating two or more households.

To make an application for an HMO licence, please email:

Generally, in an HMO, there will be some sharing of amenities such as kitchens and bathrooms, but can also include:

  • Buildings that have been sub-divided into bed sits or flats where there are shared entrances and stairwells.
  • Shared houses.
  • Temporary accommodation for the homeless, and sometimes hostels and hotels.

Each habitable unit in an HMO will be subject to the same standards as an individual dwelling, but there are additional standards relating to management, fire safety and facilities.

Mandatory HMO licensing

As of 1 October 2018 it became a legal requirement that all HMOs occupied by five or more people forming two or more households will require a licence. An application for a licence should be made to Breckland District Council by the owner or manager of the property.

Once an application has been received along with initial application fee of (£399), the proposed licence holder will be contacted by a Private Sector Housing Officer to arrange a property inspection. This is to confirm that the property meets the required standards for the number of proposed occupants.

The council must issue a licence if, among other things, it is satisfied that the HMO is reasonably suitable for occupation by the number of people proposed to be accommodated. The licence holder must also be found to be a fit and property person. The licence will, in most circumstances, be valid for five years.

Landlords who fail to apply will be committing an offence, for which conviction could lead to an unlimited fine.

(Please note that any HMO accommodating more than six persons may require planning permission for such use.)

HMO register

The council is required to hold a public register of licensed HMOs in the district. Please note that under GDPR individuals have to specifically opt in to receive marketing correspondence. The publishing of this register does not constitute consent of the licence holder(s) to be contacted for marketing purposes.

Report an unlicensed HMO to Breckland Council for investigation

Last updated: 06/11/2023 11:24:59