If you believe the property you live in is a HMO, or there is a HMO in your local neighbourhood, please tell us about it on our HMO form. You can check whether a property is already licensed on our HMO register. Not all HMOs need a licence, but it is important we know about all HMOs so we can make sure they are being managed properly.
Apply for a HMO Licence
If you own and manage a HMO that needs a licence you can complete your HMO application online.
If you are applying for a first time licence, you will need to submit additional documents listed on the HMO Application Checklist (PDF, 196KB) to complete your application. Your application will not be complete without these documents.
If you are renewing a licence, you must submit your renewal application and fee before your existing licence expires. Follow the link above to complete your HMO application online, and select ‘renewal’ as the type of application. If your licence has passed the expiry date or there is a change in licence holder, you must submit a full application for a new licence.
Any delays in submitting a complete application may lead to the HMO operating without a licence which could result in you being prosecuted which could lead to a conviction and an unlimited fine, or being issued with a civil penalty of up to £30,000.
The licence cannot be transferred to another person or property, so if the owner sells the property, the new owner must apply for a licence if they continue to operate the building as a HMO.
HMO Licence fees
The fees for mandatory licences for HMOs.in Cheshire East reflect the full cost to the council of processing an application. This varies according to the size of the HMO.
Licences will be issued for a period of up to 5 years.
- 5 - 6 units of accommodation = £810
- 7 - 12 units of accommodation = £860
- 13 - 20 units of accommodation = £930
- 21 or more units of accommodation = £990
Advice visit/Aborted appointment = a charge of £85
Management standards for HMOs
The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2006 apply to all HMOs and cover a number of items. They require that the properties are kept in a good state of repair and that all facilities are in good working order at all times. For more information, read a full copy of the Management Regulations.
Housing standards for HMOs
We will enforce rules around waste management and mandatory conditions regulating the size and use of rooms as sleeping accommodation in licensed HMOs from 1 October 2018.
The prescribed national minimum room sizes will be:
- no room with a floor area of less than 4.64 square metres (sq.m.) can be occupied as sleeping accommodation;
- rooms with a floor area between 4.64 sq.m. and 6.51 sq.m. can only be occupied as sleeping accommodation by a person less than 10 years of age;
- rooms with a floor area between 6.51 sq.m. and 10.21 sq.m. can be occupied as sleeping accommodation by a single adult or person aged over 10 years;
- rooms of at least 10.22 sq.m. can be occupied as sleeping accommodation by two adults or persons over 10 years of age.
A room cannot be used as sleeping accommodation if it is below the minimum room size. It is not intended to be the normal standard. We will assess each room used for sleeping accommodation based on the layout, space and amenities in each HMO .
For information about fire safety requirements in all HMOs, please read the LACORS Fire Safety Guide available on our Fire Safety page.
For more information about the facilities and amenities expected in HMO s, read our Guidance for Landlords and Agents (PDF, 685KB).
The Government has issued guidance for landlords and tenants about property access and health and safety obligations in the context of Covid-19 restrictions.
Planning requirements for HMOs
If you are planning to change your property into a HMO, or make alterations to an existing HMO, you should check whether you need planning permission for any changes you are proposing with the Planning service.
Council Tax requirements for HMOs
The Council Tax definition for HMOs is different to the Housing Act 2004 definition and may affect your liability for Council Tax payments. See Council Tax web pages for more information.
Defining a House in Multiple Occupation
The Housing Act 2004 defines a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) as:
- an entire house or flat which is let to three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet; or
- a house which has been converted entirely into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and which is let to 3 or more tenants who form two or more households and who share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities; or
- a converted house which contains one or more flats which are not wholly self contained (ie the flat does not contain within it a kitchen, bathroom and toilet) and which is occupied by 3 or more tenants who form two or more households; or
- a building which is converted entirely into self-contained flats if the conversion did not meet the standards of the 1991 Building Regulations, and more than one-third of the flats are let on short-term tenancies.
To be a HMO, the property must be used as the tenants’ only or main residence and it should be used solely or mainly to house tenants. Properties let to students and migrant workers will be treated as their only or main residence.
Defining a household
The definition of a household is a person living alone, or members of the same family living together including:
- couples married to each other or living together as husband and wife (or couples in a same-sex relationship)
- relatives living together, including parents, grandparents, children (and step-children), grandchildren, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces or cousins
- half-relatives will be treated as full relatives.
- a foster child living with his foster parent is treated as living in the same household as his foster parent.
- any domestic staff (e.g. au-pair or live-in nanny)are also included in the household if they are living rent-free in accommodation provided by the person for whom they are working.
Three friends sharing together are considered three households. If a couple are sharing with a third unrelated person that would consist of two households. If a family rents a property that is a single household. If that family had an au-pair to look after their children that person would be included in their household. Properties where only two single, unrelated people live are not HMOs.