Houses in multiple occupation in Ryedale

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 Ryedale area.

You must have a licence if you are renting out a large house in multiple occupation. 

Apply for a licence

Your application must include:

  • the licence fee payment
  • a copy of your annual gas safety certificate (if you have a gas supply to your property)
  • a copy of your energy performance certificate 

You will also need to make sure you have met the licensing conditions for room sizes, kitchens and bathrooms and fire safety standards.

Apply online

Apply online to licence a house in multiple occupation. 

Apply online

You can also renew your licence online. 

Renew a licence online

Licensing conditions

You need to make sure that your property meets the legal conditions for:

  • minimum bedroom sizes and the maximum number of people in them
  • waste disposal: There should be suitable and sufficient provision for waste and recycling inside and outside the property
  • fire safety

You can find out more about the licensing conditions you need to meet on the Government website.

We also check that:

  • the proposed licence holder is a fit and proper person
  • the proposed licence holder is the most appropriate person to hold the licence
  • the proposed manager, if there is one, is a fit and proper person
  • the proposed management arrangements are satisfactory
  • the person involved in the management of the house in multiple occupation is competent
  • the financial structures for the management are suitable

The licence should also be displayed prominently in the property.

What does a fit and proper person mean?

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

  • any previous convictions relating to violence, sexual offences, drugs and fraud
  • 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 houses in multiple occupations that have broken any approved code of practice

Do all houses in multiple occupation need a licence?


There are three types of licensing. 

1) Compulsory licensing of houses in multiple occupation

This is for properties where:

  • the property is occupied by five or more persons
  • those persons form two or more households

2) Additional licensing of houses in multiple occupation

This is a discretionary power that we may decide to apply to a particular type of house in multiple occupation, for example, two storey properties occupied by three or more students or asylum seekers.

3) Selective licensing of houses in multiple occupation

Properties that are not subject to house in multiple occupation licensing could be covered under a selective licensing scheme. This is where we may declare that certain areas, for example, where there is low demand for housing or antisocial behaviour, are appropriate for selective licensing. This licensing would cover all forms of private rented housing, including houses in multiple occupation.


Houses in multiple occupation exempt from licensing include:

  • buildings, or part of buildings, occupied by no more than two households each of which comprise a single person (such as two-person flat shares)
  • buildings occupied by a resident landlord with up to two tenants
  • managed or owned by a public body (such as the police or the NHS) or a housing association or a registered social landlord
  • where the residential accommodation supports the principal use of the building, for example, religious establishments and conference centres
  • student halls or residence, where the education establishment has signed up to an approved code of practice
  • regulated buildings such as care homes, bail hostels etc
  • buildings entirely occupied by freeholders or long leaseholders

How do we define a household?

Occupants are all considered to be part of the same household if they are all members of the same family. That includes:

  • people living together as husband and wife or in a similar same sex relationship, plus
  • others related to them as parent, grandparent, child, stepchild, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or cousin

Three unrelated friends sharing together are considered to be three households.

A couple sharing with a third unrelated person would be two households.

A family renting a property is a single household.

What conditions are attached to the licence?

The conditions include the following: 

  • licence holders need to show us an in-date gas safety certificate (gas safety inspections are required yearly)
  • licence holders need to keep electrical appliances and furniture in the property are in a safe condition
  • licence holders need to ensure that smoke alarms are installed in the property and are kept in proper working order and confirm this to us
  • licence holders need to supply the occupiers of the property a written statement of terms on which they occupy the house and show us these
  • licence holders need to have an energy performance certificate 

How long does it take to receive the licence and how long does it last?

Once you’ve sent us your form, fee and supporting documents we will respond to you within 56 days. An appointment will be made so we can inspect the property before your licence is issued. We carry out two types of inspection during the lifetime of the licence. To minimise disruption, every effort will be made to combine the two inspections.

Licences can be granted for up to five years. We may grant licences for shorter periods in circumstances such as if works are required at the property.

How much will it cost?


Property band Number of occupants Licensing fee Renewal fee
Band A Five to six £714 £380
Band B Seven to nine £735 £457
Band C Ten to 14 £827 £514
Band D 15 or more £893 £560

If the number of occupants is increased to another band level after a licence has been issued, the licence holder will need to pay the difference and a fee will be charged to vary the licence.

Please make cheques payable to North Yorkshire Council.

Licence variation fees

Variation Fee
Change of managing agent or mortgage provider 1 hour fee at £52 per hour
Change of people with joint interest in the property 1 hour fee at £52 per hour
Change in number of occupants without change of licence conditions 1 hour fee at £52 per hour
Change in number of occupants with change of licence conditions 2 hour fee at £52 per hour

In exceptional circumstances the charges may be increased to a maximum of £300.

Licences are not transferable. If the licensee changes a new licence must be applied for.

How many licences do I need?

A licence is needed for each House in multiple occupation. We will consider discounts for landlords with several properties.

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. 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. We’ll give you information about this when we tell you our decision. 

You can find out how to appeal on the Government’s website about solving residential property disputes

Temporary exemption notice

If you intend to stop the property operating as a house in 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 in 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 in multiple occupation.

Failing to comply

It is an offence if the landlord or person in control of the property fails to apply for a licence for a licensable property, or allows a property to be occupied by more people than is permitted under the licence.

You could face a formal caution, a fine of up to £30,000, prosecution or a rent repayment order. Your tenant may also claim back rent on an unlicensed property. Any housing benefit paid during this the time the property was without a licence may also be reclaimed.