Mandatory HMO Licence

Coronavirus: service update - Online applications and fee payments are still accepted. Advisory and compliance visits are being carried out as normal subject to government guidance on national and local lockdowns.

For help, support and the latest information and advice please see our coronavirus landlords and tenants support page.

For information on all service changes please see our services changes page.


Service update

Applying for a property licence

The processing team will continue to issue selective licences and answer enquiries. Applicants will still be able to apply for licences online and make application fee payments. Applications for temporary exemptions and requests for licence fee refunds will also continue.


HMO licence applications will continue to be processed and if the information provided with the application suggests that the HMO is likely to be compliant then the licence may be granted with appropriate conditions and a compliance visit carried out when possible afterwards.


Inspections and visits

Compliance visits in respect of HMO licence applications and advisory visits to give advice on proposed HMO licence applications are being carried out as normal subject to government guidance on national and local lockdowns.


Landlords unable to access an advisory visit will still be able to get advice on HMO space, amenity and fire precaution standards from a Housing Enforcement Officer by emailing their enquiries to You can also find all necessary advice on our website.


Mandatory House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licence

A Mandatory HMO licence is required for any property that is occupied by 5 or more people living together as 2 or more separate households and which meets the standard, self-contained flat or converted building HMO test in Section 254 of the Housing Act 2004.


Mandatory HMO licensing is borough wide and a licence is granted for a maximum of 5 years, after which time it must be renewed if the property remains occupied as a mandatory HMO.


It is an offence to operate any HMO which is required to be licensed without a licence. Failure to obtain the correct HMO licence may result in you receiving a civil penalty of up to £30,000 or being prosecuted.

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

Following the introduction of the borough wide Article 4 Direction on 6 December 2019, which removed some permitted development rights, all HMO’s in Redbridge now require planning permission. Please contact planning for advice on planning permission.


Planning permission is not a requirement for a HMO licence to be granted. If you are granted a HMO licence this does not mean that you also have planning permission for such use. It is your responsibility to obtain all relevant permissions to use your property as a HMO.


HMO fees for applications between 1 May 2021 and 31 March 2022 

Number of households

Fee on application 

First instalment

Grant of a licence

Second instalment

Total fee
2 £500 £840 £1340
3 £500 £915 £1415
4 £500 £1000 £1500
5 £500 £1070 £1570
6 £500 £1150 £1650
7 £500 £1225 £1725
8 £500 £1300 £1800
9 £500 £1380 £1880
10 £500 £1460 £1960


HMO fees for applications between 1 September 2020 and 30 April 2021

Number of households

Fee on application 

First instalment

Grant of a licence

Second instalment

Total fee
2 £313 £987 £1300
3 £313 £1060 £1373
4 £313 £1137 £1450
5 £313 £1212 £1525
6 £313 £1287 £1600
7 £313 £1361 £1674
8 £313 £1437 £1750
9 £313 £1512 £1825
10 £313 £1587 £1900

Advisory visit 

An advisory visit can be arranged with our enforcement officers upon request for guidance on whether your property is compliant with HMO requirements or for details on how your property can be made compliant with the required minimum standards. There is a fee of £250  for this service. To arrange an advisory visit please email 

The visit will confirm what work you will need to carry out to make your property suitable for occupation as a HMO by a specified number of persons and households and will enable your HMO application to be processed more quickly.

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.

Fire Risk Assessments

Landlords and/or managing agents of HMO’s have a duty to carry out fire risk assessments and install fire precaution measures.

For more detailed guidance see the guidance on fire risk assessments for sleeping accommodation

Apply for Mandatory Licence

Compliance visit

There will be a compliance visit before a decision on your mandatory HMO licence is made.

A Housing Enforcement Officer will contact the proposed licence holder to arrange this visit. The purpose of this visit is to ensure that the HMO is compliant with fire safety and room size requirements and has sufficient kitchen, bathroom and WC facilities for the proposed number of occupiers. Any additional licence conditions that may need to be added to the HMO licence to satisfy requirements will be agreed at the time of this visit with the proposed licence holder.

The fire precaution measures that will be requested will be in accordance with the guidance contained within LACORS Housing Fire Safety Guidance

If your HMO is occupied and found not to have a satisfactory means of escape or satisfactory fire precaution measures or lacks adequate kitchen, bathroom or WC facilities, you WILL be charged the fee for an advisory visit and you may be fined or prosecuted for breaching HMO management regulations and may receive a statutory notice requiring you to carry out works. If the HMO is found to be unsafe the Council may have to prohibit or restrict occupation. It is your responsibility to ensure that your HMO is safe for occupation. Please also refer to the Redbridge minimum property standards for the expected HMO standards.



Certain HMOs are exempt – see Schedule 14 to the Housing Act 2004.


If your HMO licence is granted there will be a number of conditions attached to the licence. Some of these conditions apply to all HMO licences and some may be specific to your HMO. You are required to comply with these conditions and the Council may request evidence from you to show that you are complying with them. A compliance visit may be carried out at any time during the licence period. It is an offence to fail to comply with a licence condition without a reasonable excuse and you may receive a caution, a civil penalty or be prosecuted for the offence.

Mandatory HMO Licence Conditions


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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