Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation

The Council is responsible for licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Mandatory Licensing

The Council is responsible for licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and their owners to make sure they are in a satisfactory condition, are safe, have satisfactory means of escape from fire, have sufficient bathrooms and kitchens, and have adequate space and proper management.

From 3rd July 2006 all liable HMO landlords must licence their properties, however, not all HMOs will require a licence under the mandatory scheme.

From 1st October 2018 new legislation comes into force. The new legislation does not alter the number of occupiers, it is still 5 or more people in 2 or more households and sharing amenities, however, the 3 storey rule has gone. Therefore bungalows, flats and 2 storey properties will now be included in the licensing regime. Flats in purpose built blocks of 3 or more self-contained flats are exempt (therefore, any other flat would be included).

In addition a minimum room size will be introduced of 6.5 sq. m for a single bedroom and 10.2 sq. m for a double bedroom, areas under 1.5m of height are not included.

Also, a mandatory licence condition for the collection, storage and disposal of waste is included.

Some buildings are exempt by virtue of their ownership such as those managed by the local council, registered social landlords, the fire authority, police authority and health service.

The landlord or manager will also have to prove they are a fit and proper person to manage the property.

Landlords who do not conform to the legislation face enforcement action including fines of up to £30,000; losing their right to manage their properties and repayment of rent or Housing Benefit payments.

If you wish to apply, or renew, please use this Mandatory Licensing Scheme Application Form. Please return the completed form to Private Sector Housing Team, Environmental Health Department, Westmorland and Furness Council, Town Hall, Duke Street, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria LA14 2LD along with the appropriate documents.

Charges for HMO Licences

For a new licence, the fee is £525 for a property up to 5 bedrooms, with a £33 charge for each additional room. There is no maximum fee. For a renewal of a licence the fee is also £525.


The details of all licensed HMOs appear on a publicly available statutory register.

If you think you may require a licence please contact the Private Housing Team.

The Private Housing Team can be contacted at:

Town Hall,
Duke Street,
Barrow in Furness,
LA14 2LD
Tel 01229 876543
Fax 01229 876317
E mail