Borough Council of Wellingborough

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Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

The Council is responsible for checking Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) to make sure they are in a satisfactory condition, have adequate means of escape from fire, sufficient bathrooms and kitchens, adequate space and proper management.

A house in multiple occupation is a property rented out by 2 or more unrelated occupants (who are not from 1 ‘household’ e.g. a family) that share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. You must have a licence if you’re renting out a large HMO. Your property is defined as a large HMO if the following apply:

  • it’s rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 household
  • tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities

To find out more information about HMO licensing and to request an application pack, please contact the private sector housing department at

Large HMOs operating without a licence could be subject to a fine of up to £30,000.

Even if your property is smaller and rented to fewer people, you may still need to follow the requirements for two storey house in Multiple Occupation

View Typical Requirements for an HMO

The HMO register is free to view at the Council Offices.

*NOTE: Part 2, Housing Act 2004, makes provision for mandatory licensing of certain Houses in Multiple Occupation. In England, the provisions presently apply to an HMO which is occupied by five people living in two or more single households: Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Descriptions)(England) Order 2006, S.I. 2006/371).

Order S.I. 2018/221 - This order revokes the 2006 Order effective date 1 October 2018. From 1 October 2018, Part 2, 2004 Act will apply to an HMO which is occupied by five or more persons who form two or more households, regardless of the number of storeys.

For all queries, please email: