Licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
If you rent out a property as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Waltham Forest that has three storeys or more and has at least five occupiers you may require a licence from us.
Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) are premises in which tenants share parts of the accommodation (kitchens, bathrooms, toilets or simply the hallway or stairs) with people who are not part of the same household.
- Applications must be made to Waltham Forest Council
- You must be a fit and proper person to hold the licence
The Housing Act 2004 requires landlords of certain types of houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) to be licensed by the Local Authority.
As part of the Housing Act 2004 legislation, mandatory licensing has been introduced for all houses in multiple occupation that are:
- Of three storeys or more (even if the lower storeys are used for industrial/commercial use i.e. a shop)
- With five or more tenants (including children)
- Belonging to two or more households
For more information on mandatory HMO licensing and to identify whether you have a property that needs licensing visit: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/licensinghouses.
See a summary of the regulation relating to this licence on the Communities and Local Government website, by clicking on the link: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/pdf/1446472.pdf.
Please provide all the information requested or we will be unable to accept and process your application and it will be rejected.
Licences will be granted if:
- The house is or can be made suitable for multiple occupation
- The applicant is a fit and proper person and the most appropriate person to hold the licence
- The proposed manager has control of the house, and is a fit and proper person to be the manager
- The management arrangements are satisfactory
We will aim to grant or refuse the licence within 12 weeks.
How the licensing process works
- Send out acknowledgement letter stating that we will aim to grant or refuse the licence within 12 weeks
- A memo is sent to relevant departments to request any information they have in relation to the applicant, to determine whether the person is 'fit and proper'
- An officer will contact the landlord/manager and arrange an inspection. The property is then inspected. The plans are drawn up, which are then consulted with the Fire Authority. A schedule of works is prepared. The number of occupants permitted to occupy the HMO is calculated. (This is dependant on how many amenities there are i.e. bathrooms, kitchens)
- Letters of proposal to grant or refuse the licence, notices, schedule of occupation, conditions, plans, schedule of works, are sent to the applicant and all interested parties i.e. Mortgagees, freeholders. They are given two weeks to make any representations. In relation to the schedule of works, a time scale is given to complete the works by
- If no representations are made and the two weeks are up, then the decision to grant or refuse the licence is made. Letters, notices and the actual licence is sent out to the applicant and all interested persons
- The licence is issued for a five year period. (Sometimes this can be less)
- The property will be inspected to check if the works requested under the conditions of the licence have been carried out and to check if the there are any management issues
- We will request that the landlord becomes accredited within two years of the date of the licence
- We will continue to ask for certificates when they are due: gas safe, automatic detection system, electrical, emergency lighting and water extinguishers
- The information is entered onto our database and recorded in a public register, which is available on our website
Will tacit consent apply?
No. It is in the public interest that Waltham Forest Council must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within ten working days contact us online if you applied through the UK welcome business website or use the contact details below:
Phone 020 8496 3000
The fee is £900 per HMO up to 10 units of accommodation. For every unit above this, the cost will be £85 per unit. For those landlords that are accredited, the fee is reduced to £660 per HMO up to 10 units and £85 per unit after that. For re-application (a renewal) the fee is £375.
- Download and print out the application form and guidance notes below
- Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or Tel on 020 8496 3000
- Or write to the Housing Standards Team, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Environment & Regeneration, Sycamore House, Town Hall Complex, Forest Road, Walthamstow, London E17 4JF
- HMO licence application form (3.78MB PDF file)
As signatures and documents are needed to complete this application, only paper copies posted to the contact address below will be accepted
- HMO licence application guidance notes (145KB PDF file)
Please contact Waltham Forest Direct and ask for the HMO team.
You may appeal to a residential property tribunal.
Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.
Licence holder redress
Please contact Waltham Forest Direct and ask for the HMO team in the first instance.
You may appeal to a residential property tribunal regarding conditions attached to a licence or any decision to vary or revoke a licence.
Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.
If a licence is granted and as a member of the public you wish to appeal against it being granted, you may do so to a residential property tribunal within 28 days of the decision being made.
Please contact Waltham Forest Direct and ask for the Housing Standards team in the first instance for matters concerning noise, pollution or public health.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- What is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?
- Why might I require a licence if I rent out, own or manage a house in multiple occupation?
- What HMOs require a licence?
- Why does the government want some HMOs, and not others, to be licensed?
- How much will a licence cost me?
- How long will a licence be valid?
- What is a 'fit & proper' person?
- What management and amenity standards will apply?
- Will there be any conditions attached to the licence?
- What will happen if I continue to be in control of a licensable HMO and do not submit an application for a licence?
- What is a Management Order?
- How do I apply for a licence?
- How long does the licence process take?
- Will the property require an inspection before a licence is issued?
- What is a Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) inspection?
- What is a Category 1 Hazard?
- Can I be refused a licence if there are Category 1 or 2 hazards in the HMO?
- Where can I find out more?