Homes In Multiple Occupation Licence

The Local Authority are required to licence larger, higher risk HMOs, that is those which are three storeys and above that are occupied by at least five people who constitute more than one household. Anyone who owns or manages such a property should apply for a licence.

A household refers to:

  • families, including single people
  • couples and same sex couples
  • other relationships, such as fostering, carers and domestic staff

A licensable House in Multiple Occupation is a building (or part of a building, such as a flat), that:

  • is occupied by more than one household and where more than one household shares, or lacks an amenity, such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities
  • is occupied by more than one household and which is a converted building, containing self contained flats and non self contained accommodation (whether or not some amenities are shared or lacking)

It is a criminal offence for landlords to operate a licensable HMO without applying for a licence.  The fine applicable for this offence is up to £20,000. 

Landlords will be operating legally once they have made an application even if we have not granted the licence, unless we ultimately decide to refuse a licence.

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How To Apply

To apply for this licence, please contact the department direct to discuss your application. We will advise you of what is required and send you the appropriate forms either by post or email.

Tel:  01273 471600
Contact us

Environmental Health
Lewes District Council
Southover House
Southover Road
East Sussex


Please contact the housing team for advice on fee calculation in order to ascertain the correct fee level. 

A licence is normally issued for 5 years but we may decide to issue it for a shorter period.  We will inspect the property during the lifetime of the licence.

Unsuccessful Applications

You have the right of appeal.

Residential Property Tribunal
Southern Rent Assessment Panel and Leasehold Valuation Tribunal
1st Floor
1 Market Avenue
West Sussex
PO19 1JU

Tel: 0845 100 2617 or 01243 779394