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Why you should license your house in multiple occupation (HMO)

The benefits of licensing your HMO, and what will happen if you don’t get a licence.

​From 1 October 2018, all HMOs with five or more occupants need to have a licence.

Benefits of licensing your HMO

Getting an HMO licensed means the property is safe and at a suitable standard for tenants. This helps landlords find and keep good tenants.

Landlords can also get various discounts on the fees.

You may also be eligible for a private landlord grant of up to £6,000 to cover 50% of works to bring your property up to standard.

What happens if you don’t license your HMO

It is a criminal offence to manage or control a property which should be licensed and is not. If your property is not licensed you could:

  • face prosecution and an unlimited fine

  • be told to pay back any housing benefit claimed on that property during the period of the offence.

Also, if a landlord or manager breaches conditions of their licence they could:

  • face prosecution and an unlimited fine

  • have their licence revoked by us, and we may take over the management of the HMO.



Private Sector Housing Agency

Third Floor, Laurence House, 1 Catford Road, London, SE6 4RU
Telephone: 020 8314 6420
Email: pshe@lewisham.gov.uk