Houses in multiple occupation in the Craven area

A house in multiple occupation is a house where at least three people live who are not from one household live and share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants. View the register of properties that are licensed to operate as houses of multiple occupation in the Craven area.

You must have a licence if you are renting out a large house in multiple occupation. We have a register of properties that are licensed by us to operate as houses of multiple occupation. 

Apply for a licence

Please contact us to arrange an advisory inspection which must take place before we issue you with a licence application form. 

After an application for a licence, a notice of proposal will be sent to interested parties in the property (such as the owners, mortgagee or freeholder), giving them 14 days to pass comment, or object to the conditions of the licence. A formal licence will be given after the time has elapsed.

Automatic consent is not given if the applicant is not contacted within a certain time period.

What is a house of multiple occupation?

A house of multiple occupation is a building (or part of a building such as a flat) that:

  • is occupied by more than one household and where more than one household shares, or lacks an amenity, such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities
  • is occupied by more than one household and which is a converted building, but not entirely into self-contained flats (whether or not some amenities are shared or lacking)
  • is converted into self-contained flats, but does not meet as a minimum standard the requirements of the 1991 Building Regulations, and at least one third of flats are occupied under short tenancies

The building may be occupied by more than one household:

  • as their only or main residence
  • as a refuge of people escaping domestic violence
  • by students during term time
  • for other purposes described by the Government

People do not form a single household unless they are members of the same family. A household is defined as:

  • families, including single people, couples and same sex couples
  • other relationships, such as fostering, carers and domestic staff

Licensing criteria

The licensing criteria include the following: 

  • that the proposed licence holder (this can be the landlord or managing agent) is a fit and proper person
  • that the property and the tenancy are managed appropriately
  • that the accommodation meets all minimum standards such has having a sufficient number of toilets, kitchens and bathrooms for the number of residents 

Licences may be issued with certain conditions attached. 

What does a fit and proper person mean?

When deciding whether someone is a fit and proper person, we take the following into account: 

  • any previous convictions relating to violence, sexual offences, drugs and fraud (in addition stalking or burglary from October 2018)
  • whether the proposed licence holder has broken any laws relating to housing or landlord and tenant issues
  • whether the person has been found guilty of unlawful discrimination
  • whether the person has previously managed HMOs that have broken any approved code of practice

It is also advisable for the landlord or manager to be a member of a professionally recognised body, or an approved landlords association that is affiliated to the National Federation of Residential Landlords.

Licensing conditions

The licence will set out the maximum number of people who may live in a house of multiple occupation. 

It will also include these conditions: 

  • there must be a valid current gas safety certificate
  • all electrical appliances and furniture must be kept in a safe condition
  • all smoke alarms must be correctly positioned and installed
  • each occupier must have a written statement of the terms on which they occupy the property, for example, a tenancy agreement

We may also apply the following: 

  • restrictions or prohibitions on the use of parts of the house of multiple occupation by occupants
  • a requirement that the condition of the property, its contents, such as furniture and all facilities and amenities, bathroom and toilets, for example, are in good working order
  • a requirement for specified works or repairs to be carried out within a particular timeframe
  • a requirement that the responsible person attends an approved training course 

Do all houses in multiple occupation need a licence?

By law you need a licence for properties that:

  • are one or more storeys high (since October 2018)
  • have five or more people in more than one household 
  • share amenities such as bathrooms, toilets and cooking facilities


How much will it cost?

A licence will normally last for a maximum of five years, although it can be for a shorter period of time. The fee for a five year licence or renewal is £520. Alterations to licences are £50.

Application refusal

We can refuse a licence application if we decide you are not a fit and proper person or if the property does not meet the licensing conditions.

Interim management order

If a landlord fails to bring a house in multiple occupation up to the required standards or fails to meet the fit and proper person criteria, we can issue an interim management order, which allows us to step in and manage the property. The owner keeps their rights as an owner. This order can last for a year until suitable permanent management arrangements can be made. If the interim management order expires and there has been no improvement, then we can issue a final management order. This can last up to five years and can be renewed.


If your application is refused or you wish to appeal any conditions attached to a licence, any decision to vary or revoke a licence you can appeal to a residential property tribunal within 28 days of a decision being made. 

You must appeal to the first-tier tribunal, normally within 28 days of our decision. 

You can find out how to appeal on the housing tribunals page of the Government website.

Temporary exemption notice

If you intend to stop the property operating as a house of multiple occupation, or reduce the number of occupants, and you can give clear evidence of this, then you can apply for a temporary exemption notice.
This lasts for a maximum of three months and makes sure that a property in the process of conversion from a house of multiple occupation does not need to be licensed. If the situation is not resolved, then a second temporary exemption notice can be issued.

When this runs out, the property must be licensed, be subject to an interim management order, or stop being a house of multiple occupation.