Mandatory licensing - houses in multiple occupation
As part of the Housing Act 2004, compulsory licensing of certain HMO properties was introduced (also known as mandatory licensing). This is intended to help improve standards, particularly in larger, high-risk HMO, and to ensure that these properties are managed by "fit and proper persons".
Mandatory licensing of HMOs has be extended (from 01 October 2018) so that smaller properties used as HMOs in England which house 5 people or more in 2 or more separate households will in many cases require a licence. For further information and as a starter, visit the
The council is not currently operating any additional or selective HMO licensing schemes.
HMO - Licence fees
South Oxfordshire District Council has currently set the licence fee at:
New HMO Licence Application - £720.00 (includes an application inspection and an interim check inspection).
The above New HMO licence application fee is paid in two parts
- Application fee - £410.00
- Licence issue fee - £310.00
Renewal HMO Licence Application - £510.00 (includes an application inspection and an interim check inspection)
Additional inspection(s) requested by landlord - £150.00 (per inspection)
(All these fees are set locally by the council, reviewed annually and cover the 5 year licence period).
Will Tacit consent apply?
Tacit consent does not apply to this application as it is in the public interest that the council must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the Private Sector Housing Team within 90 days from your application date, please contact us.
HMO - Penalties
It is an offence to operate a licensable HMO without having obtained a license. The current fine that can be imposed is £20,000.
In addition, any Housing Benefit paid to the landlord of an unlicensed HMO, may be repayable to the local authority (subject to a Residential Property Tribunal Order) and in some circumstances, tenants can apply to the Residential Property Tribunal (RPT) for a Rent Repayment Order if they have paid rent to a landlord who has failed to obtain an HMO licence.
HMO - Management Orders
A local authority can apply to a RPT to manage an HMO that is not licensed. This means the council could take over management responsibilities from the landlord in respect to the property, including collection of rent and carrying out repairs etc. This is referred to as an Interim or Final Management Order.
HMO – Application for Licence
To submit a HMO licence application valid we will need:
- A completed application form: please contact the Private Sector Housing Team to request a paper copy. We are currently developing an online HMO application form which will be available shortly.
- Part 1 of the HMO licence fee (See fees below), Part 2 will be requested upon completion of the initial licence inspection.
- Supporting documentation
Information you need for an application:
When submitting an application for a HMO licence, to ensure you provide a completed application you will need to provide copies of the following documents listed below:
- Proof of address for the licence holder
- Any building regulations completion certificates and planning consents (if applicable)
- Current fire alarm system commissioning or test certificate (within the last 12 months)
- Current emergency lighting test certificate (within the last 12 months) if applicable
- Service contract for alarm and safety systems
- Current landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate (within the last 12 months)
- Current Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) (within the last five years)
- Current Portable Appliance Test (PAT) certificate (within the last 12 months)
- Fire safety risk assessment
- A copy of the tenancy agreement provided to tenants
- Energy performance certificate (if available)
Please note - the requirements set out above form part of a completed application and we will not be able to process your submitted application until we have received all the requested documents.
Last reviewed: 18 - 06 - 2019