Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

What are HMOs?

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) are properties which are shared by three or more people in two or more households. Generally there will be some sharing of amenities ( e.g. bathrooms ) and they may include buildings divided into bed sits or flats where there are shared entrances and stairwells, shared houses, temporary accommodation for the homeless and sometimes hostels and hotels. 

Required standards

Each habitable unit in an HMO will be subject to the same standards as an individual dwelling but there are additional standards relating to management, fire safety and facilities for the number of occupiers. 

Breckland Council can, and in some cases must, take action if there are problems with HMOs. The law allows the Council to require a landlord to improve conditions and make properties safe and healthy for people to live in. 

Links to Breckland Council's standards for fire precautions and amenties are given below:

Icon for pdf Amenity Standards [353.77KB]

Icon for pdf Fire Standards [517.64KB]


From 1st October 2018 all HMOs that are occupied by 5 or more people in 2 or more separate households will require a licence.

Applications should be made to Breckland Council by the owner or manager of the property.

A licence costs £399 and lasts for five years.

The Council must issue a licence if, among other things, it is satisfied that the HMO is reasonably suitable for occupation by the number of people proposed to be accommodated and the proposed licence holder is a fit and proper person. The licence will in most circumstances last for a period of 5 years.

Landlords who fail to apply will be committing an offence which on conviction may lead to an unlimited fine.

(Please also note that any HMO accommodating more than 6 persons may require planning permission for such use.)

Applying for a HMO licence

If you wish to apply for a HMO licence please complete the application form and return to

Private Sector Housing, Breckland Council, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham, NR19 1EE.

Icon for word HMO Licence Application Form [927KB]

HMO Public Register

The Council is required to hold a public register of licensed HMOs in the district. To request a copy of this register, please email Please note that under GDPR individuals have to specifically opt in to receive marketing correspondence. The publishing of licence holders' addresses on the public register does notconstitute consent of the licence holders to be contacted for marketing purposes

If you have any queries please email or telephone 01362 656870 and ask for Private Sector Housing.




Last updated: 02/04/2019 09:42:19