HMO stands for ‘House in Multiple Occupation’, which means a property rented out by at least 3 people who are not from 1 ‘household’ (for example, a family) but share facilities like the
bathroom and kitchen.
Under the 2004 Housing Act, a household refers to:
• Families, single people, and couples (including same-sex couples)
• Other relationships, such as foster families, carers, and
In most instances, student houses in Norwich will fall under the HMO category, although not all will need a licence.
Do I need a licence?
Not all HMOs need a licence. However, there are currently around 3000 HMOs in Norwich with over 800 requiring a licence, so it is important to find out whether or not you require one. Under the Housing Act 2004, you must have a licence for your
HMO if all of the following apply:
• There are shared amenities such as bathrooms, toilets,
or cooking facilities
• The house is occupied by five or more households
Licence conditions can vary from property to property. As a landlord of an HMO, there are several specific requirements that
need to be complied with. However, in the majority of instances, the conditions will be the same,
Some of these requirements include:
• Displaying your name and contact details within the property
• Maintaining any safety equipment
• Passing several safety checks on your property - i.e., having
installed smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and fire escape
A more comprehensive list of the requirements for running an HMO can be found on the Norwich City Council website.
Each Norwich City Council HMO licence currently costs £140 and lasts for one year.
All licenced HMOs need to be supplied with amenities such as heating, kitchen facilities, washing facilities, and toilets. The number and type of amenities depends on the house. Norwich
City Council have a booklet that contains the minimum standards required of licenced HMOs. These form part of the licence conditions, and should be used by landlords and agents as a
guide to amenities provided in all other HMOs.