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Houses in multiple occupation

If you rent out a property which is a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in the District, you may require a licence from us. A house in multiple occupation is a property rented out by at least three people who are not from one 'household' (e.g. a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. It's sometimes called a 'house share'. The most common type of HMO is bed sitting rooms with a degree of sharing, commonly the kitchen and/or bathroom. There are a number of exemptions e.g. where the landlord is a registered social landlord or similar body, or where there is a resident landlord (depending on the numbers).

You are required to obtain a licence from this Authority if the property is:

  • rented to five or more people who form more than one household; and
  • tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities.

Please note an HMO occupied by 3 or 4 unrelated individuals is not licensable because fewer than 5 persons reside at the property. There are still legal requirements applicable to such properties.

Further information regarding HMO's can be found on the Central Government website.

If you are unsure whether your house is an HMO or not and whether it is licensable then please contact us.

Management of HMOs

HMO Licence Register

Properties that are currently licensed with the Maldon District Council can be viewed on the public HMO Register.

Making an application

You can apply by completing an online application for a house in multiple occupancy licence or contact us if you would prefer to complete and return a paper copy of the form. To renew your licence please complete the online renewal application.

If your existing house in multiple occupation licence has changed please contact us with details.

Eligibility Criteria

Applications must be made to us and you must be a fit and proper person to hold the licence. The property will need to be suitable for the number of people in occupation, have sufficient basic amenities and fire precautions.

Licences will be granted if:

  • the house is or can be made suitable for multiple occupation
  • the applicant is a fit and proper person and the most appropriate person to hold the licence
  • the proposed manager has control of the house and is a fit and proper person to be the manager
  • the management arrangements are satisfactory

Essex approved Code of Practice

All Essex councils have collaborated to produce an Essex-wide guide.

Essex HMO Amenity Standards


Payment of the application fee is made with the application. Licences are valid for 5 years. A further payment is then made with a renewal application 5 years later.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. We aim to process your application within 3 months. If you have not heard from us within this time, please contact us.

Failed application and premises licence holder redress

Should your licence application be refused please contact us in the first instance.

You may appeal to a residential property tribunal. Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.

Licence holder redress

Any licence granted will contain conditions regarding operation of the HMO.

You may appeal to a residential property tribunal regarding conditions attached to a licence or any decision to vary or revoke a licence.

Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.

Please visit the Housing Tribunals website for more information.