Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Under Part II of the Housing Act 2004, which came into force on 6th April 2006, anyone who owns or manages a HMO that must be licensed, will have to apply for a licence from the Local Authority in which the dwelling is situated.

The Housing Act 2004 makes licensing compulsory for HMOs that:

  • have five or more people in more than one household and
  • share amenities such as bathrooms, toilets and cooking facilities

This type of HMO falls under Section 257 of the Housing Act 2004 and will be inspected for breaches of Section 257 Management Regulations 2004. The Private Sector Housing team within the Environmental Health department is responsible for inspecting HMO's within Cannock Chase. There are some other ways that a building or part of a building can be an HMO. You can read more about these in Sections 254 – 259 of The Housing Act 2004.

Prior to a HMO application, landlords should refer to Cannock Chase Council's Space and amenity standards, found here [Attach file] . This outlines the minimum space and amenities that should be provided.

We also help and provide advise on issues such as:

  • helping you apply for a license
  • advising if there is any changes in circumstances with your HMO
  • helping you renew a HMO license

If you have any queries regarding HMO's please feel free to contact the Private Sector Housing team at

HMO Licence Application

You will need a license if you are a landlord and you rent out a HMO. A HMO license will typically last 5 years, and then a renewal will be needed.

If you wish to make a license application, you will need to provide the following information.

Apply for an HMO License here: HMO License Application

Part 1: Details of the Owner - Information relating to the ownership of the property. If you have more than one property to be licensed a separate form will need to be completed for each property.

Part 2: Details of the Proposed Licence Holder – Information relating to the person who will hold the HMO Licence. This may be the owner, a manager or any other person nominated by the owner with agreement. In the case of a Company, a nominated individual needs to be identified as the proposed licence holder. The declaration must be signed at the end of this section if the proposed licence holder is not the owner.

Part 3: Managers Details - To be completed if a manager is employed. If the owner manages the property this part does not need to be filled in.

Part 4: Fit and Proper Person - All parts to be completed by the owner, manager and other nominated person (if applicable). The declaration must be signed at the end of this section.

Part 5: Details of the Property to be Licensed – a sketch plan with measurements showing location, size, basic amenities and fire precautions in each room. A different page should be used for each storey. This section also
requires a description of the property, nature of occupation and the facilities provided.

Part 6: Services and Management – The Council must inspect the property within 5 years of granting the Licence. This section requests details that will enable the Council to make an assessment of the priority for inspection of the

Part 7: Declaration of the Applicant and Proposed Licence Holder – This section must be signed by person completing the application form and the proposed licence holder as a declaration that the information provided is true and accurate.

Part 8: Declaration of Notifications by the Applicant and Proposed Licence Holder – This section must be signed by the person completing the application form and proposed licence holder as a declaration that all relevant people have been notified of the HMO licence application to the Council.

Cost of HMO license application - The fee charged by Cannock Chase District Council is £910 per property application and reflects the cost to the Council of making a decision on the licensing of the property in accordance with the Housing Act 2006. This sum is made up from £330 subsidence and £580 deposit. Payment should be made through the online application. If your application is refused £330 will be refunded.

HMO Management

Houses' of Multiple Occupation (HMO) are regularly inspected by environmental health officers to promote good housing standards. Landlords or managers of a HMO are responsible for the upkeep, management and other related duties for their HMO.

These managers duties are explained below. For further information please look to: The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006

1. Duty to provide information to occupiers - The name, address and telephone number of the manager must be provided to each household in the HMO, AND the same information must be clearly displayed in a prominent position in the HMO.

2. Duty to take safety measures - Means of escape from fire must be kept free of obstruction and kept in good order and repair. Fire fighting equipment and alarms must be kept in good working order. Notices indicating the location of means of escape from fire must be displayed so they are clearly visible to all occupiers. All reasonable steps should be taken to protect occupiers from injury with regard to the design of the HMO, its structural condition and the total number of occupiers. In particular, in relation to any unsafe roof or balcony they must be made safe or all reasonable measures taken to prevent access to them and in the case of windows with sills at or near floor level provide bars or other safeguards to protect occupiers.

3. Duty to maintain water supply and drainage - These must be maintained in proper working order - namely in good repair and clean condition. Specifically, storage tanks must be effectively covered to prevent contamination of water and pipes should be protected from frost damage.

4. Duty to supply and maintain gas and electricity - These should not be unreasonably interrupted. All fixed electrical installations must be inspected and tested by a qualified engineer at least once every 5 years and a results certificate obtained. The latest gas appliance/s test certificate/s and electrical test results certificate/s must be provided to the council within 7 days of the council making a written request for such.

5. Duty to maintain common parts, fixtures, fittings and appliances - All common parts must be kept clean, safe, in good decorative repair and working order and free from obstruction. In particular handrails and banisters must be provided and kept in good order, any stair coverings securely fixed, windows and other means of ventilation kept in good repair and adequate light fittings available at all times for every occupier to use. Gardens, yards, outbuildings, boundary walls/fences, gates, etc., which are part of the HMO should be safe, maintained in good repair, kept clean and present no danger to occupiers.

6. Duty to maintain living accommodation - The internal structure, fixtures and fittings, including windows and other means of ventilation, of each room should be kept in good repair and in clean working order. Each room and all supplied furniture should be in a clean condition at the beginning of the tenant’s occupation.

7. Duty to provide waste disposal facilities - No litter should be allowed to accumulate, except for that stored in bins provided in adequate numbers for the requirements of the occupiers. Arrangements need to be made for regular disposal of litter and refuse having regard to the Council’s collection service.

8. Duty to inform the Council about occupancy of the HMO - If required to do so, the manager shall provide details of individuals and households accommodated in the HMO.

The Regulations require that the specified standards of management are achieved and maintained. If a manager fails to meet those standards, the Council may take formal enforcement including a Civil Penalty Notice which will invoke a fine of up to £30,000 or prosecution (maximum fine £5000 for breach of each Regulation).


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