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How to apply for a mandatory HMO licence


If your property requires a mandatory House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) license, you need to apply.

The Housing Act 2004 has made it a requirement that a landlord letting a HMO which meets certain criteria will need to obtain a licence.

The aim of the scheme is to increase the protection of tenants and neighbours by making sure accommodation is safe, well managed and of good quality.

You will need to send some additional information along with the required fee as we have to charge to cover the cost of administering the scheme.

Applications can be made by a landlord or by another appropriate person such as a managing agent.

Please Note: Landlords who operate a licensable HMO without a licence are liable to prosecution leading to an unlimited fine in the magistrates court or a Civil Financial Penalty of up to £30,000.

Your tenants are able to reclaim any rent paid during the time the property is unlicensed, up to a maximum of 12 months rent, regardless of any formal action taken by us. We may choose to reclaim any Housing Benefit that has also been paid.

How do I apply? 

You must ensure that the application form is completed correctly, full payment is made and all of the required supporting documents are included.

To apply for a HMO licence please complete the  HMO new licence application form (PDF) [340KB] .

Please ensure you have read the Guidance notes on how to complete a HMO application form and the HMO licence conditions.

Renewing your House in Multiple Occupation Licence

You must renew your House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licence every five years if the property continues to be a licensable HMO.

To renew your HMO licence please complete the  HMO licence renewal application form (PDF) [341KB] .

Please ensure you have read the Guidance notes on how to complete a HMO application form and the HMO licence conditions.

We no longer accept paper copies of application forms and supporting documents. Any applications made must be emailed to

Disclosure Barring Service (DBS)

One of the requirements of the licence is for you to provide evidence that both you and any managing agent (if applicable) is a "fit and proper" person to manage a HMO.

As part of this procedure, those affected must provide a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate. You can apply online and you will be charged a fee and must provide certain evidence.

Request a basic DBS check

You and any proposed manager will need to allow sufficient time for your DBS application to be dealt with, so it is better that you do not delay.

Please note: the disclosure statement is valid for 28 days, and you must provide us with the original document with your application within this time.  The document can be left at the Town Hall reception and once we have obtained the required information from it, it will be returned to you (if requested) or securely destroyed.

Your application will only be treated as complete once we have all the information we need.

How much is the cost of a HMO licence?

The fee chargeable for a new 5 year HMO licence is currently set at £608, payable in two parts.

At the time of application, you must make an initial payment of £150 (non-refundable) to cover the cost of assessing and processing your submitted application up to the stage were we issue a proposed licence.

Upon receipt of the proposed licence you should make any representations to the council with any observations. If you're happy with the content, you should arrange for the required balance of the licence fee to be paid and the HMO licence will be issued.  Within your proposed licence documentation, you will be provided with a link to make the remaining fee payment online.

This remaining fee covers the council's costs for monitoring the licence over its 5 year life.

Remember that the application will not be treated as complete, until we receive everything needed.

The cost of a licence will rise to £727 if you fail to supply a complete application, including all documents, certificates etc., as indicated below in the supporting information required.

Supporting information required

You will need to send us some supporting information so that we can deal with your application quickly. We will be unable to grant a licence until we receive all of the following supporting information:

  • A completed and signed HMO application form
  • The HMO Licence Fee Payment of £150 - the preferred method of payment is debit or credit card
  • A GOV.UK - Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate dated within the last twenty eight (28) days (we use this as part of our fit and proper person check)
  • Floor plans of your property. The drawings must be to a scale of 1:50 or 1:100
  • A Gas Safe Registered Engineer's Certificate issued within the last twelve-month period (renewable on an annual basis)
  • A satisfactory Electrical Installation Condition Report issued within the last five years (renewable on a maximum five yearly basis)
  • If required, a Periodic Fire Alarm Test Certificate (BS:5839-1 clause 45) issued within the last twelve-month period (renewable on an annual basis)
  • A copy of your written Fire Safety Risk Assessment (to be reviewed on an annual basis), required under the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005.
  • If required, a Periodic Emergency Lighting Test Certificate (BS:5266) issued within the last twelve-month period (renewable on an annual basis)
  • A Portable Appliance Test (PAT) Certificate for all relevant appliances that you provide (recommended annually).  Please confirm in writing if you do not supply portable appliances
  • A copy of the current tenancy agreement for the property
  • Evidence of the permanent residential address of the proposed licence holder such as a recent utility bill

Contact us

If you are having any difficulty completing your licence application contact us as soon as possible, as an incomplete application will incur an additional penalty charge of £112.

If you would like any further assistance contact us on 01772 906907 or email

HMO inspections

At some point in the future we will inspect your HMO. Before we do so we will contact you in advance to arrange this appointment.

It is very important that you read the which explains our requirements, to ensure that your property is correctly managed and is free from hazards that may affect your tenants.

Map address for Preston City Council

Preston City Council, Town Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 2RL.

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