An HMO is a home where:

  • Three or more people live, and
  • At least two groups of people do not live as a family i.e mother and son in one room and an unrelated female rents another room and
  • They share facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens

Therefore, this may include properties such as bedsits and shared houses.

Some HMOs need to be Licenced

Under Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004, owners and landlords must now get a licence to manage certain larger HMOs.

The licence has conditions on it that the landlord must meet in order to be issued with the licence.

The law says that a property must be licensed if it meets these conditions:

  • 5 or more people live there, where there are two or more groups of people that are not living as a family i.e mother and son rent one room, female rents another room and two males rent another room, and they are not a family.
  • They share facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens.

If your HMO does not meet the above conditions, you may still be required to obtain a licence in certain areas. 

This is due to some areas within the Borough being Selective Licensing areas. 

To check whether the property is in a Selective Licensing area, what this means, how to apply, and the licence fee visit

If you think you live in, own, or manage an HMO in Oldham, you must contact us:

Any owner or landlord of a property that isn't licensed but should be, could face an unlimited fine.

Planning Permission

If you have 7 or more people in your HMO, you will need to contact Planning:

Building Control

Any property that is being converted into a house in multiple occupation, requires building regulations approval:

House in Multiple Occupation Mandatory Licence Fees

Licence application fee for 5-bedroom HMO 


Charge per additional bedroom


Compliance and enforcement fee

£266.60 (payable once the licence is issued)

What you will need before making an application?

  1. A current electrical installation condition report, dated within the last 5 years, (this is a legal requirement for all rented properties from 1 April 2021).  The electrician’s details should be legible, so that registration with an approved scheme can be verified.  The report should state that the installation is satisfactory and that there are no Code 1or Code 2 defects.
  2. A current gas safety certificate, with the engineer’s details and Gas Safety registration number legible.
  3. Management statement – this is a copy of the agreement between the owner and any managing agent, setting out the responsibilities for the letting, repair and maintenance of the property.  Landlords who self-manage their properties should upload a letter confirming that this is the case.
  4. Tenancy agreement – a copy of the tenancy agreement for the property.
  5. Proof of address – this is proof of the licence holder’s address, dated within the last six months.  It can be a bank statement, utility bill or other official correspondence, but must be issued by an independent third party.
  6. Floor plans
  7. Current Potable Appliance Test certification
  8. Current Fire Risk Assessment.
  9. Design and Installation of Fire detection certification, including annual testing for the fire alarm system and emergency lighting (if applicable).

These documents should be in electronic format - so that they can be uploaded as part of the application process.

If you are an owner, you should select leaseholder or freeholder as applicable.  

Managing agents should select managing agent.


To make an application and pay the fee online: 

Create an account/log in

Who to notify that you are applying

You should notify anyone with a legal interest in the property to your application as an interested party. 

This includes joint owners as well as any mortgage company or other charge-holder on the property but does not include the tenant.

Nominated licence holders

You may nominate another person to be the licence holder, but they must have a connection to the property as, for example, managing agent or joint owner. 

However, they will be responsible for complying with the licence conditions and must indicate their acceptance of that liability before the licence is granted.

You do not have to be accredited to hold a licence.

A landlord who is accredited is either part of a scheme run by another local authority, or who has undertaken a course of training with a recognised landlords’ association.

You may receive two email acknowledgements

The Council is using an online system that sends e-mails automatically at certain points in the licensing process and these cannot be edited. 

Where the officer processing the application thinks that the automatic e-mail lacks detail, they will follow up with an e-mail that better explains what is required.

Please note that our officers:

  • Must decide whether the person applying for the licence is a ‘fit and proper person,’ which means we look at any criminal convictions, or other issues that would mean they cannot be issued with a licence.
  • Must be satisfied with the proposed management arrangements
  • Must decide that the HMO is suitable for the number of people living in it.
  • Will arrange to inspect the property once we have received the application and check that it is safe and suitable to live in

When fully approved, a licence will be issued to the person who applied for it.

The licence will say what things the licence holder must do and also say the maximum number of people that can live in the property.

Once a licence is issued it is up to the manager of the property to make sure they meet the licence conditions and manage the property.

The Council has to publish a register that the public can have access to, to show which HMOs in Oldham have a licence.

Please note the register is updated and is accurate at the time of publication.  The Register only provides the current licensed HMOs. 

It does not provide details of HMO applications that are being processed.

The Register has been provided in line with Section 232 of the Housing Act 2004 and Section 11 The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (England) Regulations 2006.

Law and Standards

Managing houses in multiple occupation

All HMOs need to be managed properly whether it is a licenced or non-licensed HMO. It is up to the manager of the property to make sure this is done.

The manager could be the owner of the property, a person the owner has employed to manage the property, or a letting agent.

A well-managed HMO should be clean and tidy, safe and suitable for living in. Management Regulations ensure that:

  • Provisions like washing and cooking facilities are adequate
  • There are adequate arrangements for the collection and proper disposal of rubbish
  • Water, gas and electricity are properly supplied and discharged.
  • Any repairs are carried out.

The law also says that the people who live in an HMO must make sure they don’t cause damage, store and dispose of waste properly and cooperate with the manager of the property.

The related regulations are:

  • The Management of HMO (England) Regulations 2006
  • The Licensing and Management of HMO (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007
  • The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Mandatory Conditions of Licences (England) Regulations 2018.