Check if you need a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence
You must have a licence to let each property in Royal Greenwich you operate as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). It's a criminal offence to operate an HMO without a licence - you could face an unlimited fine if you deliberately avoid licensing.
If you are not sure what an HMO is, refer to our HMO guide for landlords.
Royal Borough of Greenwich operates an additional HMO licensing scheme, which means all HMO properties need to be licenced, not just those under the government's mandatory scheme. To check whether you need to have a licence, start an application.
Royal Greenwich has a statutory duty (section 232 of the Housing Act 2004) to make and maintain HMO registers. What goes in the registers is also defined by law (The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (England) Regulations 2006).
If you have an HMO outside of Royal Greenwich, you'll need to check with the relevant local authority to find out if you need a licence.
Properties that do not need a licence
By law, some HMOs do not need an HMO licence. These exemptions are set by the government, not the Council.
You do not need an HMO licence if the property is exempted by law, for example if:
- it does not currently have a tenant living in it, or it will not be let
- it's for student accommodation such as halls of residence, but only if it's directly managed by an educational institution
- the rooms or dwellings are let as short-term accommodation on a commercial basis - for example a 'host family' arrangement for foreign students, a holiday let, or Airbnb (but if one room is let as the main residence of a tenant, the property may need a licence)
- it is part of a Shared Lives or similar adult placement scheme where up to three adult placements, plus their carers, live at the property
- the Council places tenants into the property under the Royal Borough of Greenwich social lettings scheme
- it's managed by a Registered Provider (such as a housing association or registered social landlord), or the Council
- it's a purpose-built block of flats (although individual flats that are HMOs will need to be licensed)
- it's occupied principally for the purposes of a religious community whose principal occupation is prayer, contemplation, education or the relief of suffering
- it's run or managed by public bodies such as the police or probation services
Please note: There are no exemptions for registered housing charities.