Houses in multiple occupation
What's classed as a house in multiple occupation (HMO)
A HMO is a residential property with common areas shared by more than 1 household.
These properties include:
- shared houses
- some buildings consisting of converted self-contained or studio flats
Licensing was introduced by the government to help keep private tenants safe.
If your property is licensable, you must apply for a licence.
It's an offence if your property should be licensed, but it isn't.
This can result in an unlimited fine upon conviction or a civil penalty up to £30,000. Tenants may also be able to claim back up to 12 months rent.
Which HMOs need a licence
There are 2 types of licensing scheme that apply to privately rented HMOs in Barnet.
Mandatory Licensing (as set by the government)
This applies to HMOs occupied by 5 or more people in 2 or more households and in 1 of these categories:
- houses with sharing of basic facilities such as a kitchen bathroom or WC
- self-contained flats with sharing of basic facilities such as a kitchen bathroom or WC
- converted buildings with a mixture of self-contained flats and non self-contained residential units
Additional licensing (from 27 October 2022)
Barnet has now adopted a borough-wide scheme which applies to smaller HMOs not covered by mandatory licensing.
This applies to HMOs occupied by 3 or more people in 2 or more households.
Additional licensing also applies to buildings converted into self contained flats that don't meet the Building Regulations 1991(or later) and:
- the building is 3 or more storeys in height
- there are at least 3 flats
- all the flats are privately rented
- both the building and the self-contained flats are under the same ownership/control
How to apply for a licence
To apply for a licence, you'll need to complete the form and return it by email to email@example.com
Help with your application
If you need any assistance email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact 0208 359 5355
Renew your licence
To renew your licence, complete the form and return it by email to email@example.com
After you've applied
Once a complete application has been received we will contact you to arrange fee payment and to arrange a full inspection of the property.
If full access is not provided at this inspection you will need to pay an additional fee for a revisit.
If the inspecting officer confirms that a HMO licence can be issued, a second fee will need to be paid at the inspection. The licence cannot be issued if you don't pay this fee.
A licence will normally last for 5 years.
A HMO licence belongs to the current landlord and can't be transferred to another person. If the property is sold or the landlord changes the council must be informed. The new landlord must apply for a new HMO licence.
Temporary Exemption from licensing
If you want to make changes to the property so it doesn't need to be licensed, you can apply for a Temporary Exemption Notice (TEN).
When a TEN is in place, you can operate without a licence for 3 months while you're making the changes to remove the property from the requirement to license.
To qualify for a TEN, you must show that you are taking steps to ensure the property will no longer need a licence.
We'll ask to see evidence to support your application. This could be:
- providing supporting documents or other information showing the action being taken
- completing additional checks, including with other agencies when appropriate
A TEN application can't be made to avoid licensing and an application can be refused or TEN revoked if you:
- omit any relevant information to support your application
- make any false statements or misrepresentations
There is no cost for a TEN.
Apply for a Temporary Exemption Notice (TEN)
Email your completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more details about the HMO Licensing process and your responsibilities as a landlord, download our HMO Landlords guide (ODT 137 Kb)
HMO Licensing and Planning Permission
There's a difference between the HMO licensing law and planning law.
Licensing law is there to protect the health, safety and welfare of the occupants of a HMO. Planning legislation is used to control property in the wider public interest.
Having a HMO licence doesn't mean that planning permission is not required. Similarly, having planning permission to use a property as a HMO doesn't mean that a HMO licence is not needed.
For further information on this, please visit the planning service web page.