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Mandatory licensing & houses in multiple occupation

In South Oxfordshire, a house in multiple occupation (HMO) must have a licence if:

  • It is occupied by five or more people; and
  • Those people form two or more households; and
  • The HMO is not a purpose-built, self-contained flat situated in a block comprising three or more self-contained flats.

The person managing or having control of a HMO meeting the above description must apply for a HMO licence.

For further information and as a starter, visit the Government website.

HMO – Licence applications and fees

HMO licence application fees are set out in the table below. Licence applications include a property inspection.

HMO licence renewal fee is set out in the table below.

All fees are set locally by the council, reviewed annually and cover the five year licence period.

Additional HMO advice visits are charged at £150.

You can apply for HMO a licence 

Read the application guidance notes 

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 a licence. You could get an unlimited fine for renting out an unlicensed HMO.

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.

Register of HMO licences

South Oxfordshire District Council is required by law to maintain a register of all properties in the district where:

  • an HMO licence is currently in force
  • a Temporary Exemption Notice (TEN) is currently in force
  • an Interim Management Order (IMO) is currently in force
  • a Final Management Order (FMO) is currently in force

The council publishes a simplified version of the HMO register which is available to download. The register may not include applications that are currently being processed. Contact us if you believe a property is an HMO but is not listed in the register.

The council does not publish the full HMO register online as releasing personal information to a large number of people may be considered a breach of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). The council maintains a full register of HMO licences which includes names and addresses of licence holders which is available at our office for inspection by appointment. The council does not condone the use of direct marketing undertaken by third parties accessing this information. By doing so, third parties may be in breach of data protection regulations by not gaining consent from the individuals concerned.

Contact us - Private Sector Housing

01235 422436
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

South Oxfordshire District Council
Private Sector Housing Team
135 Eastern Avenue
Milton Park
OX14 4SB