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Mandatory licensing & houses in multiple occupation

In Vale of White Horse, a house in multiple occupation (HMO) must have a licence if:

  • It is occupied by five or more people; and
  • Those people form two or more households; and
  • The HMO is not a purpose-built, self-contained flat situated in a block comprising three or more self-contained flats.

The council is not currently operating any additional or selective HMO licensing schemes.

The person managing or having control of a HMO meeting the above description must apply for a HMO licence.

For further information visit the Government website.

HMO – Licence applications and fees

HMO licence application fees are set out in the table below. Licence applications include a property inspection.

HMO licence renewal fee is set out in the table below.

BedroomsPart one fee (application fee)Part two fee (issue fee)Total fee
up to 5£563£375£938

All fees are set locally by the council, reviewed annually and cover the five year licence period.

Additional HMO advice visits are charged at £178.

You can apply for HMO a licence here

Read the application guidance notes here.

Download the list of documents that you will need to provide with your application for a HMO licence.

Fire safety requirements for HMOs

Will tacit consent apply?

Tacit consent does not apply to this application as it is in the public interest that the council must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the Private Sector Housing Team within 90 days from your application date, please contact us.

HMO – Penalties

It is an offence to operate a licensable HMO without a licence. You could get an unlimited fine for renting out an unlicensed HMO.

In addition, any Housing Benefit or Universal Credit paid to the landlord of an unlicensed HMO may be repayable to the council. Tenants can also apply for a Rent Repayment Order if they have paid rent to a landlord who has failed to obtain an HMO licence.

The council can apply to manage a HMO that is not licensed. This means the council could take over management responsibilities from the landlord in respect to the property, including collection of rent and carrying out repairs etc.

Register of HMO licences

Vale of White Horse is required by law to maintain a register of all properties in the district where:

  • an HMO licence is currently in force
  • a Temporary Exemption Notice (TEN) is currently in force
  • an Interim Management Order (IMO) is currently in force
  • a Final Management Order (FMO) is currently in force

The council publishes a simplified version of the HMO register which is available to download. The register does not include applications that are currently being processed. Contact us if you believe a property is an HMO but is not listed in the register.

The council does not publish the full HMO register online as releasing personal information to a large number of people may be considered a breach of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). The council maintains a full register of HMO licences which includes names and addresses of licence holders which is available in printed format on request. The council does not condone the use of direct marketing undertaken by third parties accessing this information. By doing so, third parties may be in breach of data protection regulations by not gaining consent from the individuals concerned.

For more information about HMO licensing and details of minimum standards required for HMOs please e-mail the Private Sector Housing Team on

Contact us - Private Sector Housing

01235 422436
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

Vale of White Horse District Council
Private Sector Housing Team
Abbey House
Abbey Close
OX14 3JE