Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

What is an HMO?

Under the Housing Act 2004 an HMO is:

  • an entire house or flat occupied by three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
  • a house that has been converted into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and occupied by three or more tenants, forming two or more households and sharing a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
  • a converted house which contains one or more flats which are not wholly self-contained and which is occupied by three or more tenants occupying two or more households
  • a building converted entirely into self-contained flats where less than two thirds are in owner occupation and where the conversion did not comply with the 1991 Building Regulations
  • In all the above cases the property must be occupied as the tenants’ only or main residence

HMO Licensing

Mandatory Licensing

The Housing Act 2004 provides for the mandatory licensing of certain HMOs.

Generally an HMO will need a mandatory licence if it is:

  • Shared by five or more people and
  • Has three or more storeys (including basements, attics and commercial units

Additional licensing

The Wrexham County Borough Council Additional Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation Scheme 2011 started on the 1 November 2011.

The scheme will cover all HMOs except those subject to Mandatory Licensing or exempt under the relevant sections of the Housing Act 2004.

Landlords, persons letting/ managing and tenants are advised to seek advice from the Housing Standards team on whether their property is covered by the scheme.

Applying for a License

See the License Application Fees

EU Services Directive - House in multiple occupation (HMO) licence

Apply for a house in multiple occupation licence (external link to

HMO Licensing Application Form

This application form is available to download in the following formats:

HMO Licensing Application Form - Online version

HMO Licensing Application Form - Word version 776Kb

HMO Licensing Application Form - PDF version 620Kb

Prescribed Standards for Licensed HMOs

For copies contact Housing Standards.

Prescribed Standards for Licensed HMOs

Category A1 - Bedsits - PDF version 22Kb

Category A2 - Bedsit-type HMO (Kitchen and bathroom facilities shared) - PDF version 144Kb

Category B - Shared House - PDF version 229Kb

Category F - Section 257 Flats - PDF version 65Kb

Exempt properties

Some types of buildings are exempt from licensing, these include:

  • properties managed or owned by a public body (such as the police or the NHS), a local authority or a Registered Social Landlord
  • resident landlord and up to 2 other persons
  • buildings entirely occupied by freeholders or long leaseholders.

The Welsh Assembly Government (external link) has produced guides for HMO licensing, including:

For further information or advice contact Housing Standards.

List of Licensed HMOs

List of Licensed HMOs - PDF version 177Kb

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