Mandatory HMO Licence

Please note that as of 1 October 2018 there are changes in the law which mean that if you rent out a property that is occupied by 5 or more people from 2 or more households with shared facilities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet you will need a Mandatory HMO property licence. All HMO’s in Redbridge should now be licenced.

Failure to licence a HMO could result in a prosecution in court or a financial penalty of up to £30K. Enforcement action against unlicensed HMO’s is now taking place.


Mandatory House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licence

Mandatory licences are in force across the whole of Redbridge and are valid for 5 years. They are renewable at the end of 5 years as it is an indefinite scheme.

From Monday 1 October 2018 a Mandatory licence will defined as a large HMO consisting of  5 or more people, forming 2 or more unrelated households, sharing facilities. 

The number of floors is now irrelevant to the definition of a HMO. 

Failure to apply for the right licence type after this date is an offence.  

What is a household?

A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. A family includes people who are:

  • married or living together - including people in same-sex relationships
  • relatives or half-relatives, for example, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings
  • step-parents and step-children
  • a foster child living with a foster parent (s) is treated as living in the same household

Minimum sleeping room sizes

From 1 October 2018 local housing authorities must impose conditions as to the minimum room size which may be occupied as sleeping accommodation in the HMO. A room smaller than the specified size must not be used as sleeping accommodation, and communal space in other parts of the HMO cannot be used to compensate for rooms smaller than the prescribed minimum. The purpose of this condition is to reduce overcrowding in smaller HMOs. The standards adopted are similar, but not identical to, those relating to overcrowding in dwellings under section 326 of the Housing Act 1985.

What is the minimum sleeping room size?

  • 6.51 m 2 for one person over 10 years of age
  • 10.22 m 2 for two persons over 10 years of age
  • 4.64 m 2 for one child under the age of 10 years

The minimum size for sleeping accommodation does not apply to charities providing night shelters or temporary accommodation for people suffering or recovering from drug or alcohol abuse or mental disorders.

 It will also be a mandatory condition that any room of less than 4.64 m 2 must not be used as sleeping accommodation and the landlord will need to notify the local housing authority of any room in the HMO with a floor area of less than 4.64 m2. These minimum room sizes will apply to all mandatory HMO and additional licences that are approved or renewed on or after 1 October 2018. Any area of the room in which the ceiling height is less than 1.5m cannot be counted towards the minimum room size.

The mandatory room size conditions will, however, be the statutory minimum and are not intended to be the optimal room size. Local housing authorities will continue to have discretion to set their own higher standards within licence conditions, but must not set lower standards.


Planning permission

You must have acquired consent from planning for 'change of use' from a house to an HMO if more than 6 occupants.


HMO fees 

Number of households

Fee on application 

First instalment

Grant of a licence

Second instalment

Total fee

Base fee








































Advisory visit

An advisory visit to give guidance on HMO requirements can be arranged with our enforcement officers upon request. There is a fee of £250  for this service.

To arrange an advisory visit please email 

What you need before making your application

You will need to upload or e-mail copies of the following certificates:

  • Floor Plans (these may be prepared by the applicant or the proposed licence holder. They do not have to be drawn up by an architect or surveyor) Showing location of fire exits, hard wired smoke alarms and heat detectors.
  • Fire Risk Assessment
  • Fire Detection System Cert. including hard wired smoke and heat detectors.
  • Gas Safety Certificate
  • Electrical Installation Condition Report

Minimum standards

Redbridge minimum property standards (PDF 421KB)


Apply for Mandatory Licence


Compliance visit

There will be a compliance visit before the Mandatory licence is granted.


Certain HMOs are exempt – see schedule 14 Housing Act 2004.


When you are granted a licence there are conditions that you will need to meet to keep the licences valid. The conditions will be attached to your licence when you complete your online application. We can ask to see evidence you meet these conditions at any time during the length of your licence period.
Mandatory Licence Conditions (PDF 802 KB) 



You should renew your Mandatory licence if it is about to expire and you still wish to privately rent the property in the same way it was being rented before. We recommend you renew your licence 3 months before your current licence expires.

Please inform us if circumstances have changed and the property is no longer licensable.

Refund policy

You may be entitled to a refund of the application fee in certain circumstances. For more information on refunds view the Redbridge Refund Policy (PDF 264KB)

Contact us


Property Licensing Team
10th Floor Lynton House
255-259 High Road
Ilford IG1 1NY



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