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The following information will help you to check if your property is classed a house in multiple occupation and needs to a licence.


A house occupied by 5 students (2 of whom are living together), who share a kitchen and bathroom.

Licensable because there are 5 occupiers in 4 households sharing basic amenities.

Two bedroom bungalow shared by 2 couples.

Not licensable because there are only 4 occupants.

A house owned and occupied by a couple with 2 children and a lodger, who shares the kitchen, living room and bathroom with the family.

Not licensable because although there are 5 people, where a landlord lives in the property his/her family unit counts as only 1 person.

Converted houses

Multi-storey house, with a self-contained basement flat occupied by the landlord and partner. Upper floors comprising 3 self-contained studio flats and 1 non self-contained (kitchen on landing, but not shared).

Licensable because there are at least 5 persons occupying the building in four separate households (landlord and family count as 1). If all flats had been self-contained the property would not be in scope

House converted into 2 non self-contained flats occupied by 2 couples and their 2 children. Each couple has a separate tenancy agreement. The families share amenities. One of the couples is the cousin of one of the other couple.

Not licensable because it is occupied by a single household by way of an extended family.

Multi-storey house converted into self-contained flats owned by separate leaseholders with long leases.

Individual flats may be in scope but only if they are occupied by 5 or more people from 2 separate households.

Flats above shops

A purpose built fish and chip shop with residential accommodation above which the owner lets out as 5 bedsits, with shared use of kitchen and bathroom.

Licensable because it is occupied by at least 5 people in at least 5 households, who share basic amenities.

Self-contained flat above 24 hour kebab shop. At least 6 occupiers sharing 3 bedrooms plus living room. All employed in the business and none pay rent.

Licensable because there are 6 occupiers sharing facilities. The fact that rent isn’t paid is not relevant because their occupation of the property is linked to their employment.

A 3 storey purpose built block of flats above a parade of shops comprising 10 self-contained flats. Five of those flats have been let out by their owners and 3 are in multiple occupation, all with at least 5 persons living in 2 or more separate households.

Not licensable because mandatory licensing does not apply to purpose built blocks with 3 or more self-contained flats.

Purpose built blocks

A purpose built development of 30 units, designed for singles and couples, comprising self-contained flats and studio flats and a number of non self-contained studio flats which have access communal kitchen/ diner facilities.

Licensable because although the development is purpose built, there is some sharing of facilities between different households. Purpose built blocks are only excluded where all flats are self-contained.

A flat on the sixth floor owned by a long leaseholder and let to 5 sharers in a 10 storey tower block of 30 flats.

Not licensable because mandatory licensing does not apply to purpose built blocks with 3 or more self-contained flats.