Your property is an HMO if both of the following apply:
- at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than one household
- toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities are shared
Properties being shared by more than 4 people in more than two households must be licensed.
A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. It includes people who are married or living together and people in same-sex relationships.
Mandatory licensing is now applicable to more Houses in Multiple Occupation. A licence is not required if the property is occupied by five or more persons who are living as two or more separate households, and where amenities such as kitchens and bathrooms are shared. There is no longer a requirement for the building to be over 3 storeys
Properties with more than two storeys and more than four occupants must be licensed. Letting a licensable HMO without a licence is an offence and can result in a fine of up to £30,000.
Wakefield Responsible Landlords Scheme members
|Above 10 - per unit||£800 plus extra £30 per bed space over ten units||£640 plus extra £24 per bed space over ten units|
Download the HMO licence application form
Safety standards within a HMO
Fire doors will be required to protect the main means of escape, mainly the stairway, from the top floor through to the front external door.
The fire doors must comply with BS476 Parts 20-22 1987.
A fire detection system is required, to give early warning to occupants. This will comprise interlinked mains powered and battery back-up detectors distributed in all risk areas. The detection system must comply with BS5839 Part 6
Emergency lighting may be needed, this will be based on the layout of the property and the amount of natural and artificial light available. The level of fire precautions must be of an acceptable standard. All properties are assessed on an individual basis.
Download the HMO standards document
Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) Loans
Interest free loans are available to landlords who want to adapt a property to an HMO, for 3 or 4 occupants.
To apply you must be a member of the Wakefield Responsible Landlord scheme and be the owner of the property.
- available up to the amount of £5,000
- repayment terms of up to 3 years
- funded through Wakefield Council and administered through Leeds City Credit Union.
A schedule of works will be agreed in advance with Wakefield Council.
To apply or for more information call Housing Standards team on 01924 306665
Completed forms should be sent to:
If you have any queries please call the Housing Standards Team on 01924 306665 or email them at