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Apply for a house of multiple occupation licence (HMO)

Do I need a HMO licence?

A HMO is a property (house or flat) occupied by three or more unrelated people, forming two or more households who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom. Types of HMOs:

  • shared houses and flats rented with joint or single tenancies, for example, shared houses or flats lived in by students or groups of professionals
  • bedsits which may share kitchen and or bathroom 
  • a building which is converted into flats where less than two thirds are owner occupied and the conversion does not meet appropriate building standards. These are often referred to as poorly converted blocks of flats because they do not comply with building standards

Having a tenancy agreement does not mean that the house is a HMO

If your answer to any of the questions below is 'no' you do not need a HMO licence:

  • do you privately rent a property within Guildford Borough Council's boundaries?
  • is the property occupied by five or more unrelated people? Please include children and babies
  • do two or more separate households live in the property?
  • do the occupants of the property share a bathroom, kitchen or a toilet?

Will tacit consent apply?

No. Tacit consent is where the applicant can act as though the licence is granted if they haven't heard from us. This does not apply to HMO licensing. However, you can still operate a HMO whilst we look at your application. We will aim to respond to your application within 10 working days. 


The fee for this licence is £885

  • discount of £25 if applicant is a member of a recognised landlord organisation
  • discount of £50 if applicant is an accredited Landlord of the Guildford Letting Scheme

Both discounts cannot be applied at the same time.

If you have an existing HMO licence that needs work to be completed to the property at this time, call 01483 505050 and ask to speak to the housing standards team. Or email

If you have a pending HMO application, we will look at how we can deal with this remotely.