Houses in multiple occupation (HMO) licensing

Find out whether you need an HMO licence for your property and how to apply.

You must have a licence if:

  • you rent a property to 5 or more people from 2 or more households
  • your tenants do not all belong to the same family or household
  • your tenants share a toilet, bathroom, living room or kitchen

It is a criminal offence to have control of, or manage a licensable HMO without having made an application to the council.

You can find more information about renting out your property - houses in multiple occupation (HMO) from the government's website.

Standards for HMOs

All properties must meet minimum standards for HMOs which are detailed in our HMO standards leaflet [pdf] 823KB

Apply for an HMO licence

Print and complete our HMO licence application form [pdf] 422KB and send to us with the required documentation (details are on the form) to:

Private Sector Housing & Public Health Team
Arun District Council
Civic Centre
Maltravers Road
Littlehampton
BN17 5LF

Or email to us at: publichealth.housing@arun.gov.uk

You must also pay the initial application fee (part 1) at the time of your application.

How to pay the licence fee

To make payment, please phone 01903 737755

The licence fee is payable in 2 parts (please see the table of fees below for amounts):

  • Part 1 – The initial application fee payable on submission of the application
  • Part 2 – The licence issue fee is payable upon the completion of the consultation period and prior to the full HMO licence being granted.
Table of fees
Part 1 initial application fee Amount payable
5 person base fee £955
plus £50 for each additional occupant: ………. x £50 = £
Total Initial application fee payable £
Part 2 licence issue fee Amount payable
Total licence issue fee payable £235


Risk assessment

Once an application is received, we carry out a Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) risk assessment on your HMO. If our inspector finds any unacceptable risks during the assessment you must carry out work to remove them.

What happens next

Once your application is approved we will send you a draft licence. This will give you the opportunity to question the conditions we have put on your licence. This is called the consultation period.

Once the consultation period is finished. The issue fee (part 2) needs to be paid. The full licence will then be issued to you.

Licence conditions

Your HMO licence will contain a number of conditions, including:

  • fire safety regulations
  • kitchen facilities requirements
  • property heating requirements
  • bathroom facility requirements

You must read the conditions supplied with your licence to make sure you comply with them within the timescale stated. If you do not comply with your licence conditons, you will be breaking the law.

Renewing your HMO licence

An HMO licence is valid for 5 years.

You must renew your licence before it runs out. You should apply at least 2 months before it expires to give time to process your application.

Complete a HMO licence application form [pdf] 422KB to renew your licence.

Check if a property is licensed

We keep a public register of all properties that have an HMO licence including the name of the landlord.

If you live in an HMO you can check if your landlords property is licensed by checking the public register (select ‘Licence type’ of HMO Mandatory).

If your landlord is renting out an HMO without a licence you can reclaim the rent you have paid to them.